[A repeat from March 18, 2013 – and I continued to see Manuel standing there – every day – until I retired]
Every day when I walk to work, there is a gentleman standing in front of the Corner Bakery across from my building. He sells Streetwise — a weekly publication. Manuel struggles to walk – with crutches – but he stands guard outside the CB from early morning until about noon. Rain or shine. I usually stop to exchange a few words with him and ask him how he’s doing. And I buy a copy of Streetwise once a week. Streetwise sells for two dollars though my math is not always good.
Streetwise was started in Chicago in 1992 by Chicago lawyer Judd Lofchie The mission of Streetwise is to assist Chicago area men and women, who are facing homelessness, to achieve personal stability by providing them with a combination of supportive social services and immediate access to gainful employment. Streetwise vendors are usually trying to make a go of it. They are not to be confused with panhandlers.
In my post of July 11, 2012, I wrote about Henry Nouwen – the great religious/spiritual writer. Henry Nouwen in his treatise Out of Solitude wrote “The temptation is that we use our expertise to keep a safe distance from that which really matters and forget that, in the long run, cure without care is more harmful than helpful.” Streetwise seems to be on the right track — offering cure, the all-important care — and a strong dose of compassion.