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Mission Statement

Groundcover News exists to create opportunity and a voice for low-income people while taking action to end homelessness and poverty.

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Groundcover News, a 501(c)(3) organization, was founded in April 2010 as a means to empower low-income persons to make the transitions from homeless to housed, and from jobless to employed. Street newspapers like Groundcover News exist in cities all over the United States, as well as in more than 40 other countries,  in an effort to raise awareness of the plight of homeless and combat the increase in poverty. For more information, visit the North American Street Newspaper Association.

Groundcover News approaches all of our activities with the following principles. We believe:

• All people have the right to dignity.
• Diversity has intrinsic value.
• Poverty is political—systemic change is necessary.
• Building community is essential to social change.
• Political effectiveness requires staying power.
• Solutions to poverty must involve people who are directly affected.
• Risks are necessary to create positive change.
• Meeting people where they are honors their skills and potential.
• We are committed to quality, professionalism, and accountability in everything we do.

Help promote Groundcover as a progressive alternative to panhandling by downloading THESE COUPONS to give to folks panhandling on the streets of Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Pittsfield Township, Dexter, or Chelsea!

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GCN Holiday Party 2017

Groundcover News holiday party filled with love and joyful gratitude.

by William Shakespeare

(Current Vendor and GCN Writer)

Groundcover News’ holiday party was a very happy occasion. More than 50 Guests attended the party at the Groundcover News office on Thursday, December 14, 2017. It was an evening with shared moments of love, joy, gratitude, kindness and laughter.

The party attracted many community members, including guests from churches and various community organizations. Others attending were some Groundcover News vendors, volunteers, board members, and office staff.

There were so many delicious meals which guests prepared at home and brought to share. The delicious dishes included roasted turkey, honey ham, cut vegetables and fruit, sloppy joe’s, soup, vegetable casserole, salad, a variety of sweet, sinful desserts.”

Guests, including volunteer radiologist Ben, his wife Kate, and baby daughter Tess sat around decorated square tables with their meals and engaged each other in multifarious conversation topics.

The highlight of the Groundcover News party was the gift-giving portion. The atmosphere was festive and celebratory. Holly, our U-M School of Social Work Intern said, “It was a feast of food and community engagement.”

Groundcover News Volunteer Sandy commented, “There was joy for all that attended the
party.” Another Groundcover News volunteer, Mary, said, “What a pleasure celebrating with vendors and volunteers!!!”

It certainly looked like an award-giving ceremony reminiscent of the Nobel Prize Award
Ceremony. Vendors were called to a semi-podium to accept a packet of winter accessories
along with personalized presents and have their pictures taken—without ceremonial costumes and regalia. They say, “a picture can say a thousand words.” Please see the photos of some of the guests.

Groundcover Publisher Susan Beckett, Editor Andrew Nixon, and Intern Holly worked closely with Volunteers Kathleen, Lucy, Jan, Mary and Sandy in the gift-giving ceremony. The Groundcover News vendors who received their presents accepted them with gratitude and excitement. Joe and Elizabeth “ Lit” who accepted multiple gifts beamed with smiles, happiness and joyous gratitude. All vendors did appreciate their gifts. It was a fun party—“An affair to remember!!!”

Vendor Spotlight – G.R.

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Gary Robinson has been selling for Groundcover News for 2 years. He grew up in Ypsilanti and found Groudcover (GCN) through a friend that was also selling for GCN. At the time he was homeless and needed something to help him get on his feet again.

He soon grew to be a fast seller and took advantage of the opportunity to be employed in a way that was comfortable for him. Gary buys between 600-700 papers a month from GCN and then is able to sell them to customers at GCN’s price of $2.

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With the support of selling the paper and any donations he receives while doing it, Gary is now able to afford to pay for rent with a friend of his. He is a great example of GCN’s mission to help vendors go from homeless and unemployed to housed and employed.

As far as his daily experiences, Gary has formed relationships with the businesses he sells in front of and his daily customers.

“They are helping all of us at Groundcover, but if I treat people right then they will treat me right,” said Gary.

Since his start with GCN, Gary has also attended a 9 month rehab program that he is proud to come out of ready to sell again.

You can find Gary selling GCN in front of Starbucks on Main and Liberty. That is his favorite spot to sell and typically is there 6 days a week.

 

Know Your Rights – Immigration Raids

At Groundcover News, we believe that it is important not only to be informed, but to actively participate in one’s community. Recently added to our Community Resources page is a document containing information about your rights in the event of contact with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. This list of rights and responsibilities is also posted below. Remember, it is always better to be informed than not!

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REMEMBER: If you see something, say something. Have an ACLU know-your-rights wallet card. These can be purchased at the ACLU website: https://shop.aclu.org/Know-Your-Rights

Thank you for your support at the Heidelberg!

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Many thanks to Stevie D and the Wannabes, the Heidelberg Restaurant, the U-M Groundcover student group, the businesses who donated raffle prizes and all those who attended Friday night’s fundraiser! If you couldn’t make the event but would still like to help our vendors and volunteers get to the International Street Newspaper conference this Sunday, click the “Donate” button on the side of the page. Thanks again for all of your support, and keep your eye out for future fundraisers.

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