Popular community newspaper The Contributor is in danger of shutting down, its executive director says, unless it can raise more money and fast.
The Contributor highlights issues among the homeless community, and its vendors are homeless or formerly homeless and struggling to get back on their feet.
As vendors arrived in downtown Nashville on Wednesday to pick up the latest edition of the paper, they saw its attention-grabbing headline: "Final Issue?"
"We've really stepped things up in order to take this organization to where it needs to be to be stable for our vendors. Our vendors have all experienced homelessness at some point in their lives, so they've all experienced what it's like to be in crisis," said Tasha French Lemley, executive director of The Contributor. "The Contributor is a stabilizing force, and we want to continue to be."
The first issue was published in 2007, and about 400 vendors sell the paper on the streets of Middle Tennessee.
The vendors pay 25 cents for each paper that they are then able to sell for $1 each. The vendor can then keep that profit.
Leaders say they have been dipping into savings to keep the paper afloat for some time. Now, that fund is close to running dry.
They say there is enough funding to sustain the paper for about one more month unless more donations come in.