What's Up Magazine

"There are 110 street newspapers in the world from Malawi to St. Louis. Some just print as a Word document, but it looks like a crappy product and it doesn't sell. Putting high-horsepower desktop publishing software [like Adobe Creative Suite] into our lives lets us put together a quality product."

— Jay Swoboda

What's Up Magazine Empowers Homeless with Quality, Profitable Publications

People living on the streets of St. Louis, Missouri, have options for literacy advocacy and income thanks to What's Up Magazine and The Homeless Empowerment Project. The quarterly volunteer-run street newspaper has been in print since 2002. It has a circulation of over 5,000, and it has permitted over 700 vendors to participate in a profitable business venture. "We're on a mission to empower the homeless and the disadvantaged as they work toward full employment and self-sufficiency," says Jay Swoboda, a volunteer and spokesperson for the organization. Vendors purchase the publication for 25 cents and then sell them for $1. 

Though the publication used to rely on PageMaker or volunteers running their own software at home, now the entire newspaper is laid out in Adobe Creative Suite made affordable by a donation through TechSoup. The organization also uses Creative Suite to craft flyers and promotional materials for fundraising events and for its website. 

Since all positions for What's Up are volunteer, all dollars raised go directly towards the cost of printing. Without Adobe's donation, which means a lot to a small nonprofit, What's Up Magazine would have had to be printed less or not printed at all.