Street Wise, Indeed

Streetwise Produce CartThose in, or traveling through, Chicago might have encountered a StreetWise vendor selling weekly magazines in front of Starbucks or some other high traffic area. The StreetWise organization lends a helping hand to homeless men and women here in the Chicago Area, providing them the opportunity to earn a little income so they can start the process of getting back on their feet.

Until recently, StreetWise vendors mainly sold “street papers,” keeping a portion of their sales. While the paper is well written and always a good read, I always thought it was a bit of a difficult sell — who really reads a newspaper anymore?

This summer StreetWise introduced a new program called Neighbor Carts. The carts allow StreetWise vendors to earn income, while honing their business skills by selling fresh produce from their cart in neighborhoods that are often deprived of green grocers and supermarkets.

Neighbor Carts is beyond wise – not only does it teach vendors valuable selling skills, but it also provides access to healthy food options in communities that typically lack this kind of offering. Way to go!

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