Posted by StreetWise in Latest News
Brittany Langmeyer & Jack Wimmer
StreetWise Staff & StreetWise Volunteer
Jimmy Beckless had a slightly rough start with StreetWise. He struggled to find a consistent location and it took him a while to catch on. Then, just over a year ago, he came upon a Starbucks in which he began building a steady clientele.
“A friend came to me and told me he had a way to make good money. He referred me to StreetWise. So I went and filled out the application, passed the tests, and off I went. I sold in front of a Phillip’s Station, and then a Subway. They told me I couldn’t sell on their property, so I left and went to a Starbucks on 53rd Street in Hyde Park.”
Jimmy was soon accepted at his location and he felt as if they really treated him like a person. “When I was there, they were always good to me, and my customers were good to me. They helped me out. Everyone knew me.” He has been there ever since.
After seeing the same customers return from week to week, Jimmy really began to connect with the people and make friends. He strongly believes that simply telling people “good morning” is a good way to grow a clientele. “All of my customers and StreetWise supporters are great to me and speak with me. They shake my hand and hug me. I’ve lost a few good customers over time though, probably around 10. I’m not sure why, but I really wish they would come back to me. They were all really nice to me and I miss them.”
Aside from StreetWise, Jimmy has some other goals for the future, including opening his own detail shop. “I’m looking for a garage. If I can find a two-car garage I can go from there. I have a clientele… if I could just find a location. I’ve been in detail for many years. When I was in St. Louis, I worked detail at a car wash. I was so good and had such a good clientele. I’ve always wanted to do it again. I’ve also been thinking about taking a class to build my vocabulary.”
When asked about what motivates him in life, he was quick to answer. “My motivation is my son, [Michah]… he just turned 5. I’m a good father to him and I’m going to continue being a father to him. I’m saving a college fund for him and am going to put it in the bank, so when he is 18, he will have it for his college tuition. He gets on the corner with me sometimes when I’m selling. He’ll take the magazines sometimes and yell ‘StreetWise! StreetWise!’ He will take all my money!”
Past all the jokes and laughter, Jimmy is truly thankful for what he has. “I want to thank everyone that has supported me in times of need. If I could help them back in any way, I would. If they needed me, I would be there for them. I appreciate all of the StreetWise supporters. God bless them.”