[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.   

One thought on “Streetwise

  1. drohrman

    Great nostalgia for those us exchipats ….I recall giving the Streetwise lady at Walgreens on GB Road in Wilmette $5 every time I saw her. She was there practically every time I was there. I confess that I am not sure I ever read one however. Are they still being sold? It was an excellent idea. As you know, California (and esp LA, SFO and SJ) has a major problem with homelessness… While there is a troubling persistent homeless population of about 8000 in San Diego and LaJolla (and no coherent solution), there are only a few people I have seen in “North County”…the area around PetCo Park (Padres) is a central SD problem. I have never seen anyone “panhandling” here, but I have hardly done an exhaustive search. The police in SF have been aggressive, to no avail…once proud Market Street is a trash heap. For a “progressive” state, urban CA is certainly backward.

    Best, and keep well!! D

    Sent from my iPad Douglass F. Rohrman Phone 312-391-3460 3576 Avenida Amorosa, Escondido, CA 92029


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