Love, happiness, and respect

The tip of a pencil sits on white paper, ready to write.

Photo courtesy of

Hello Street Sense readers, fans, and supporters! It’s a pleasure writing to you another article elaborating on the poverties and struggles of individual homelessness!

Today I ask you, when you walk towards vendors selling the Street Sense newspaper, what comes to mind?

Maybe it’s “Does he really need help? Is he really hungry?” And subsequently, “Can I help that person by buying him or her some clothes and show him or her where to get free clothes? Can I get him a blanket when it is cold outside, with some warm boots and shoes? Enable him to walk comfortably? Perhaps house him or her or take him or her to a nearby shelter? Instead of sleeping on the streets!”

These are things you should ask and that I would ask myself! I get up wondering, “How can I provide for myself?”

First, I get the stiffness and laziness out of my system. I figure out how I’m going to earn my money to take care of myself? In between work, such as selling the newspaper or shining shoes, I go to school at P.G. Community College to get a GED. I am bettering myself for a future of going to college, earning a master’s degree, and someday have a career of my own!

Times are rough and hard for us vendors and the individual homeless males and females! The U.S. is the land of the free, with opportunities for everybody. But we all have to be on the same page. We’re only strong if we stick together as one. That is something my community does for me. My supporters see my struggles and respect my motivation and my mentality to do better in life. I love to talk to individuals who express to me how beautiful their lives are.

When I get finished selling my newspapers, I am tired from standing on my feet. I am thankful for the people I see from the 1800 block building, the coffee pastry shop next to the building, Subway on 18th Street, the clubs there, the Post Office crew, the Daily grill crew, the Sprint crew, the 1200 building crew, and the MPD officers around the area. Without these people, I wouldn’t be able to survive and make these positive things happen in my life.

I am trying to promote my writing skills, and my love of expressing my struggles! May God bless you all! Sincerely speaking with my heart.

James Gartrell is an artist and vendor for Street Sense Media.

information about New Signature, a Washington DC tech solutions and consulting firm


email updates

We believe ending homelessness begins with listening to the stories of those who have experienced it.