Megaphone gives a voice and economic opportunity to homeless and low-income people in Vancouver and Victoria, while building grassroots support to end poverty. The monthly magazine is published by the not-for-profit Street Corner Media Foundation, and sold on the streets of the two cities by homeless and low-income vendors. Vendors purchase the paper for 75 cents and sell the publication for $2, keeping the profit. Stories in the magazine are written by professional journalists and cover social justice issues, general interest stories, and independent arts.
After spending a few years as a contributor for Megaphone, and one year as assistant editor, I created and facilitated a writing workshop for homeless youth in Vancouver, run through Megaphone and held at Directions Youth Service Agency. Through research on youth homelessness, I realized many youth loved to express themselves through writing—as a creative and therapeutic tool—and could really use a program just for them that helped them hone their craft. I wrote grant proposals and applied for funding to get this project off the ground. As a facilitator, I taught about various writing genres and styles, provided writing prompts, edits, and feedback, and gave participants an opportunity to share their work with the group. To find out more about Megaphone, visit www.megaphonemagazine.com.