The Contributor (street paper)

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The Contributor
The June 2010 front page of The Contributor
Type Weekly street newspaper
Format Tabloid
Founder(s) Steven Samara, Tasha French, Tom Wills, and Will Connelly
Editor Amelia Ferrell Knisely
Founded 2007
Circulation 110,000 monthly

The Contributor is a weekly street newspaper published in Nashville, Tennessee, United States. The paper's content focuses on issues surrounding homelessness and poverty and is written by local journalists as well as people experiencing homelessness or working within the homeless community.

Beginning in April 2014 the publication frequency increased to once a week. At the same time, the price per issue increased from $1.00 to $2.00, with vendors purchasing the papers for $0.75 each (up from $0.25). [1]

Vendors of The Contributor have a 30% rate of finding housing using income from their paper sales.[2]


Some of the more than 400 homeless and formerly homeless vendors of The Contributor.
Some of the more than 400 homeless and formerly homeless vendors of The Contributor.

The Contributor was established in 2007 by a core group of volunteers. The first issue was published in November of that year and had a circulation of about 800 copies. The paper publishes consistently on a monthly basis and has greatly expanded its circulation and vendor network to become the highest-circulating street newspaper of its kind in North America—circulating more than 100,000 papers per month.[3][4][5][6]

In 2010, The Contributor received 501(c)(3) status, becoming an independent non-profit organization. One of the founders of The Contributor, Tasha French, received the Tennessee Titans Community Quarterback award for their volunteer efforts with the paper.[7] The award came with a $10,000 grant.

The Contributor is one of many street newspapers in the United States, including Real Change in Seattle, Washington and Spare Change News in Boston, Massachusetts.


The Contributor is a member of the North American Street Newspaper Association and the International Network of Street Papers.

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