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I start selling at around 9 in the morning. Most of the time, it only takes about 10 or 20 minutes for my first sale. From the hours of 9 a.m to noon, I make maybe two to eight dollars, and then I sell about eight to 10 papers from noon to 1 p.m, making 20 to 24 dollars–sometimes more if I get tips. After 1 p.m, it slows down again until 4-7 p.m.

During the day, I get a chance to think a lot because I’m out there alone. I set my goals and plan how to attain them.

I get a chance to talk to people about life situations and get all types of suggestions: where you can go to get work and where you can go to get help — such as medical, housing, etc. I also find helpful information located in the back of the Street Sense paper.

In between the peak selling hours, I daydream and observe people coming and going, how they look, dress, walk, etc. It’s like a guessing game of who they are and where they’re going.

Lots of times, people ask if I need food–breakfast, lunch, or maybe dinner. Most of the time they buy it or take me to get it.

People are kind. If they can’t give money, they try to help in different ways: food, clothing, information, or sometimes just a smile. Just a question–“How are you today?”–can make you feel good.

My day starts at 8 a.m. I get up and take my medications. I am on five different meds. Then I get dressed and grab something to eat, and then I’m out the door. I ride a bus to the metro and then get downtown. I decide where I am going to sell. I start my pitch and pace back and forth until I get a sale. I stop and talk and sell, and I always say, “Have a nice day.”

Then I start the pitch again. This goes on until around 7 p.m. Most of the time, I work between five to 10 hours a day.

I enjoy selling and making money without a lot of hassle, but it’s long, hard work. I look at it as a stepping-stone, not permanent employment. It works and it gives you something to do to feel good about yourself.