A homeless man sells some of the Toronto Star newspapers Ryerson receives daily. CKLN disc jockey Steve Balla gives out a stack of papers to homeless at the Scott mission every Friday.

Photo: Amy Bourne

Bread, not newspapers

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By Jordan Heath-Rawlings

Every Friday, after his open forum music show on CKLN, Steve Balla and the Torstar Corporation buy lunch for some homeless people.

As he leaves Ryerson, Balla grabs a stack of the free Toronto Stars that are stacked around campus, and distributes them to the homeless at the Scott Mission on Spadina Avenue can then resell the papers on the street for enough cash to grab a quick bite.

“I was mildly irked (when the Star arrived on campus) because I paid for the Star,” Balla said, explaining his little bit of charity. “I thought ‘hey, since they have the finances to give them away, why not help someone out?’”

“The Star’s kind of like a large-scale drug dealer anyway,” Balla elaborated. “They’re giving (the paper) out for free for now, and sooner or later you knw they’re going to cut it off.”

“They’re hoping then people will say ‘gee, I miss the Star,’ and then go and subscribe for delivery.

“I think it’s a really sleazy (business practice).”

Balla said that it would be great to get more people involved in distributing the Star to the homeless. But not too many.

“I don’t know if I could do that (get more people involved), and still get away with it.”

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