The Contributor is now for sale by homeless and formerly homeless vendors in Murfreesboro.
The weekly street newspaper began expanding into Murfreesboro in October and there are currently 10 active vendors selling The Contributor in the area.
“Expanding out to Murfreesboro has been an exciting and meaningful experience. It feels great to be a part of building something greater than myself for the city of Murfreesboro,” said Jerome Moore, The Contributor’s vendor partnership manager. Moore, who graduated from Middle Tennessee State University, recruited and trained the Murfreesboro vendors. He is now helping them grow their micro-businesses.
“Being able to to work with Jason Bennett of Murfreesboro Cold Patrol and Journey Homes has made the recruiting and expansion process much more manageable and serviceable for potential vendors," Moore said.
Murfreesboro native Jerry Bogle, who is currently experiencing homelessness, sells The Contributor at Walmart on South Rutherford Boulevard. Bogle is battling lung cancer and uses his paper profits to pay for insurance and medical costs. “I want to just be able to make enough money so that I can have the things I need to get through the day like everyone else,” he said.
Homeless vendor Joe Jones sells The Contributor at Billy Blvd & South Rutherford Blvd. Jones became homeless after he was unable to find employment. “I just didn’t have a job one day and was just on the street. Homelessness just happened,” he said. Jones said he has been able to purchase new boots and fix his truck since he began selling The Contributor.
Under The Contributor’s model, the Murfreesboro vendors buy the paper from The Contributor for 75 cents and sell it for $2.00. Vendors keep all profits, plus tips.
“The future looks bright for The Contributor in Murfreesboro,” Moore said. “I believe the residents of Murfreesboro are ready and excited to help those they see who are trying to help themselves in an empowering entrepreneurial way.”