Street Press Comes to Greece
Chris Alefantis is the co-founder of Shedia ( or “Raft” ) a monthly magazine to be sold in Greece by homeless people. The idea of a homeless publication is revolutionary in Greece, a country in which the family has traditionally served as the social safety net. In the face of the nation’s financial crisis however, families have been overwhelmed by need. As the average salary has dropped 30 percent, homeless people are flooding the streets.
According to some sources, Greek homeless estimates have soared above 20,000. Alefantis says that the previously alien concept of a street publication could now work in his country: “Now the problem has exploded and people realize it could happen to them tomorrow. It is part of their daily lives.
So how did Alefantis get the idea of creating a newspaper for the homeless? Originally a journalist for the Greek satirical magazine Kalera, he was introduced to the national Australian
homeless football team. On his return to Greece, he decided to become more involved and began to chair the Greek street football team. While the team has had little success on the field, it did serve to introduce Alefantis to International Network of Street Papers. This prompted him to create his own publication.