Homeless Tampa Newspaper
Local publisher Bill Sharpe has started the the homeless newspaper Tampa Epoch. Sharpe started the newspaper in reaction to the City of Tampa ban on homeless people soliciting on street mediums.
"I probably never made a decision to do something that I feel as good about as I do this one," Sharpe said.
Sharpe plans on hiring 100 homeless people to sell the Tampa Epoch. Sharpe will sell the newspaper to homeless venders for 25 cents. Homeless people will sell the newspaper for $1.00 and make a 75 cent profit.
For the longest time politicians and community leaders said that homeless people signing on street mediums was a safety issue. It was such a safety issue that Tampa City Council made a loophole in the law to allow newspaper venders to seel newspapers. Mayor Bob Buckhorn comments proves that was all political spin. The law was changed to keep homeless people out of sight.
The first issue carries a photograph of Mayor Bob Buckhorn, who is no fan of the venture. He said the Epoch is not a legitimate newspaper but an "excuse to get around an ordinance.
"I think the community spoke loudly and clearly. They don't want the panhandling anymore," he said. "Those who would support this with their advertising dollars are doing a disservice to the greater good."
Panhandling is asking for money and giving nothing in return. Homeless people are selling newspapers with content. Buckhorn's attitude is homeless people trying to earn an honest pay is the same as charity. We are seeing the same Bob Buckhorn that went on a pointless crusade against lap dancing.
In the video below, attorney "It's trying to carve in exceptions here and there," Episcopo said. "It's going to be attacked legally."
Joe Episcopo explains how the panhandling ban might be unconstitutional.
"It's trying to carve in exceptions here and there," Episcopo said. "It's going to be attacked legally."