By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY – The 2017 Wrap Up Homelessness Campaign is now underway giving Oklahoma City residents the opportunity to help those who are transitioning through homelessness.
The Curbside Chronicle has partnered with local artists to design holiday wrapping paper for sale to the public. Individuals selling this festive wrapping paper are part of a Homeless Alliance program called The Curbside Chronicle magazine.
The Curbside Chronicle is the state’s first and only “street paper” created to provide both a voice and employment opportunities for people who are homeless. In addition to providing a source of income, the Curbside Chronicle works with their vendors to break down barriers to traditional employment and develop time management, money management and social skills.
Street papers like the Chronicle enables people to earn enough money to get into housing and end their homelessness.
Professional Oklahoma artists have come up with designs ranging from traditional to funky holiday themes. Each package includes five 24″x36″ sheets of wrapping paper and is sold for $12 at retail locations or $10 from Curbside Chronicle vendors.
Participating local artists include Gayle Curry, Jack Fowler, Steven Paul Judd, Natalie Kent, Peggy White, Tiffany McKnight, Lauren Miller, Edgardo George & Lance King, Ashley Dawn and Sean Vali.
In addition, this year there will be a special package featuring custom artwork designed by Oklahoma’s own Wayne Coyne, lead singer of the Flaming Lips. Coyne’s wrapping paper design combines elements from several of his album covers with a holiday twist. This special edition wrapping paper will be sold in a separate package and will include three sheets.
Wrapping paper packages can be purchased directly from Curbside vendors who are transitioning out of homelessness and at local retailers throughout the Oklahoma City metro such as Blue Seven, at 7518 N. May Avenue, as well as at various special holiday events like the Indie Trunk Show, on Dec. 9 at the State Fairgrounds Pavilion.
This year, the wrapping paper will be sold in a kiosk at Penn Square Mall as well as online.
“The wrapping paper is a great way to make your gifts extra special this year,” said Ranya O’Connor, director of The Curbside Chronicle. “It features unique, local art and directly supports people who are working their way out of homelessness. You’ll not only be giving a gift to your friend or family member, but you’ll be giving the gift of empowerment to someone in Oklahoma City who is working to make their situation better.”
Individuals selling the wrapping paper wear green Curbside Chronicle vests and sell at events, on sidewalks, public spaces and at intersections throughout Oklahoma City. All proceeds from packages purchased from individuals will go directly to that individual who is working their way out of homelessness.
Proceeds from store purchases will go directly to The Curbside Chronicle and its mission to employ and empower men and women transitioning out of homelessness in Oklahoma City.
The Wrap Up Homelessness initiative is being made possible by Fowler Automotive, the 405 Center and Cornerstone Development.
“This is a great campaign, not only because of the people that it’s helping, but it introduces local artists to a broader community,” said Kristen Vails, director of community outreach with Fowler Automotive and local arts advocate. “It’s pretty special that people will have custom Oklahoma art under their tree.”
Year-end donations to help stop homelessness in Oklahoma City can be made online at thecurbsidechronicle.org or send checks payable to The Curbside Chronicle to 1724 NW 4th Street, OKC, 73106.