“My name is L.J., Lawrence John, Dewey. I prefer L.J. unless I’m applying for a job, then it’s Lawrence John.
“I lived a pretty precarious lifestyle. I was involved in crime for many years and I’ve been uninvolved since 2002. I started selling Megaphone and the Hope in Shadows calendar and book for the last two-and-a-half years.
“I was homeless for a year-and-a-half, almost two years, just before I started selling the paper. The paper helped guide me to different routes through different agencies to find housing.
“The reason I [sell Megaphone] is because I think it’s a good thing to do. I like what it promotes and it’s my way of putting back into society what I took out for a very long period of time. I believe in what Megaphone does. I guess you could say that it’s my way of redeeming myself.
“In a lot of ways I’m a people-person most days. Sometimes it’s depressing because the clientele is really hard to come by but I get mostly positive responses. The negative responses, I have a hard time with it. But all in all, it’s a good experience.
“Megaphone is a way for me to not panhandle and grovel for change. It’s a way for me to make a few extra dollars. I’m not going to become a millionaire or anything like that, but sometimes it helps out with that extra cup of coffee or that bus ride that I need so badly. It’s soothing to me in a way knowing that I’m also helping other people by selling the paper.
“I’m trying hard and all I can do is keep trying.”
L.J. sells Megaphone outside the Railway Club at Dunsmuir and Seymour.
Selling Megaphone gives vendors the opportunity to change their lives. Your donation helps us provide our vendors with training and supplies.