Whats Up is a street magazine that has been serving the Boston area since 1997. Equal parts hip-hop, hipster, and hippie, Whats Up delivers cutting edge arts and activism for a dollar a month. It regularly includes a mix of news-coverage, op-ed material, reviews of local musicians, poetry, event listings, and all sorts of useful tidbits.

In addition to being an alternative news source, Whats Up functions as an economic opportunity for the homeless. Much in the vein of its predecessor The Big Issue, Whats Up is distributed by vendors who receive the lion's share of the cover price. These vendors carry an official badge and are asked not to solicit donations. This distribution model not only helps the vendors economically, but fosters a better relationship between economic classes. You are helping the vendor with your purchase, and the vendor is helping you by providing on-the-spot information and entertainment. Through this relationship, you might even have a conversation with a homeless person, which further helps the both of you. You make the vendor feel less invisible in a society that has largely ignored his or her existence, and the vendor imparts on you new insight on how some of your less financially fortunate fellow citizens live.

Vendors, along with everyone else, are encouraged to submit anything and everything to Whats Up. Only through a diversity of opinion and point of view can something resembling journalistic objectivity be achieved. However, due to its nature as a young nonprofit independent homelessness advocate, the tenor of its content tends to be slanted toward the left end of the political spectrum (just like every other newspaper, magazine, radio program and television show, right America?)

But also, due to its nature as a young nonprofit independent homelessness advocate, Whats Up is always looking for volunteers. You can find out more information on their website, www.whatsupmagazine.org. If you live in Boston, and see a friendly neighborhood vendorperson, spend a buck on your new favorite magazine. And don’t worry about the lack of an apostrophe, regardless of the grammatical correctness, its supposed to be that way.

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