Every day when I walk to work, there is a gentleman standing on the street in front of the Corner Bakery across from my building. He sells Streetwise — a weekly publication. Manuel uses crutches to walk but he stands guard outside the CB from early morning until about noon. Rain or shine. I often stop and exchange a few words with him and ask him how he’s doing. And I normally buy a copy of Streetwise once a week. Streetwise sells for two dollars.
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, 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 . . . . and the all-important care — and compassion.