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First Issue of Grits Published

The first issue of Grits, one of the Colorado College student-led projects that emerged from last spring's Soup Project Challenge, was recently published in the Colorado Springs Independent. Serving as a "publication for community nourishment," Grits features the stories, poems, and artwork of those who are homeless or food insecure in Colorado Springs.

Grits Collective volunteers, who believe in the power of stories as a vehicle for social change, talk to the homeless and hungry, record interviews, and run writing and storytelling workshops at various locations where the city's homeless gather. Grits serves to share the voice of the homeless with a wider public. The Grits team, comprised of Caitlin Canty '16, Paige Clark '16, Ben Criswell '16, and Reed Young '17, noted in the recent publication that "In getting to know our contributors, we have experienced the humanizing ability of a conversation. We hope our publication will not only lead to a perception shift, but also catalyze systemic change that will improve the lives of our most vulnerable citizens.

"Through Grits, we are trying to spur a paradigm shift so that our community may start to see those who experience homelessness and hunger as mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, friends, and pet-lovers who have a story, ambition, and value."

Many of the stories in the recently published four-page spread contain nuggets of insight. Says Johan, who couldn't pay her rent after lending a friend the money for implants after some his teeth had to be pulled: "I'm hoping that these stories will help people understand their own assumptions and stereotypes." Says Catherine, whose food stamps were cut due to a clerical error: "No one ever knows what will happen to them." Says Tyrone, an IT consultant who lost his job: "Apparently, there are many who are in the same sort of boat that I am. Skilled, experienced, intelligent, hard-working people who, for many reasons I imagine, have lost a job and cannot find jobs that would sustain a re-entry back into society. The job market being what it has been, it certainly seems understandable."

The project serves as one of several ways for the college to continue to engage with the Colorado Springs community around issues of hunger, homelessness, and poverty following the closure of the CC soup kitchen. Grits will appear quarterly, with the next issue scheduled for February 2016. The long-term goal is to have Grits content not just in the newspaper, but in other formats such as radio stories and podcasts.

For information about workshops, volunteering opportunities, or other inquiries, contact

Report an issue - Last updated: 12/16/2020