As panhandling ordinance kicks in, a plan for the homeless to sell their own newspaper in Tampa

Over the weekend Sharpe emailed readers and other members of the community requesting funds that will provide those members of the homeless who want to sell the paper to get instructions, training, an initial inventory, identification, and supervision.

We need your help now as an individual, company, or organization. If we all work together we can make a difference in the lives of many individuals and in the quality of life in our community. Help by sponsoring a vendor or by placing an ad in Tampa Epoch. Deadline for our first issue is end of day on Monday, November 7.

Sharpe says members of the community can sponsor a vendor for just a $25 contribution.

Such publications have become staples in other parts of the country with issues with the homeless, which means most major American towns. Among the oldest of these types of newspapers is the Street Sheet, which began in 1989 in San Francisco, which currently has the largest circulation of a street newspaper with 32,000 papers distributed monthly. It's published by the Coalition on Homelessness in the city for a $1 donation.

Street News,
published in New York City, also began in 1989, just as homelessness was becoming a national problem.

You can obtain more information about getting involved and helping out financially by going to



The city of Tampa's ordinance enforcing a partial ban on panhandling taxes begins Tuesday.

The new law bans panhandling in the city Monday thru Saturday, with the exception of those selling newspapers or distributing political literature. But the city's 10 most dangerous intersections, like Dale Mabry Blvd. and Columbus Dr., will be closed to panhandling for good.

TPD say they will issue warnings for first time offenders, and then issue citations for those individuals after that.

Meanwhile, the push to try to find a facility for the homeless in Tampa continues, while concerns grow about what those homeless will now do to try to collect money to survive in a still moribund economy.

There is one group of folks who have been working on a way to help the homeless immediately - and that's by published a street newspaper that focuses on homelessness and poverty and is distributed by homeless and formerly homeless vendors who keep the profit from the papers they sell.

It's done all over the country, and it's about to happen here.

The name of the paper is Tampa Epoch, and among those leading the effort to publish such a paper is Bill Sharpe, whose company (Tampa Marketing Company) is involved in publishing the South Tampa Community News.

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