VENDOR PROFILE: VEDA SIMPSON
Veda Simpson has taken her act to the web! The veteran Street Sense vendor has become the newest member of Twitter and Facebook, although you’ll still have to head to her usual selling spot at the corner of 13th and G Street (near the Street Sense office) to get a chance to hear her famous singing.
“I’m known for the singing,” said Veda. “I’m the only vendor that sings (while selling the paper.)”
In fact, Veda says she once received an offer to record her singing on her own CD. Veda turned down the offer, though.
“I just like doing what I’m doing.”
Veda has come a long way since joining Street Sense over four years ago. Before then Veda had been homeless and was dealing with a history of drug abuse.
“I’d sneak into wherever I could get a roof over my head.”
That all changed after a friend referred Veda to Street Sense. Since then Veda said she has found a new home and a new lease on life.
“Street Sense has helped me a whole lot. It’s helped me mentally and financially. I’m a lot more responsible. I use to deal drugs but I’ve been off drugs since joining Street Sense.”
Veda now has an apartment in the North Capitol area. Perhaps more importantly she has gained the support of many new friends.
“My customers have been very supportive. They talk to me and give me a lot of encouraging words.”
Although for Veda “friends” is a privileged term.
“I like to think of people as acquaintances,” said Veda. Her friends are waiting for her at home. They are her eight cats.
“I love animals. Some people can treat animals so terribly,” said Veda. “Now that I’ve become more responsible I’m in school training to be a veterinarian.”
Even on a budget, Veda is able give her “friends” all the care they need. She was even able to train them to use the toilet to save money on cat litter.
“My dream is to get a place out in the country with a lot of land for my animals.”
As much as she loves animals, Veda still has one greater love.
“My best friend is God,” said Veda. “I’ve always been a spiritual person.”
Veda says her faith has helped lead her in the right direction, quoting Proverbs 3:5-6
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Her faith especially shines through when she’s singing. She says her favorite music is spiritual songs.
“I’ve been taught a new way of living,” said Veda. “I’m happy to be alive.”
Favorite Food: Soul Food
Favorite Movies: Action and Scary Movies