Our Vendors 

StreetWise Vendor Linda Carretero: ‘What StreetWise means to me’

Thu, Mar 1, 2012

The following essay was written by Streetwise Vendor Linda Carretero during the new StreetWise Writing Workshop.

with StreetWise Vendor Linda Carretero”]I have been a StreetWise Vendor for eight years. I sell the magazine Monday – Friday 7 a.m. – 9 a.m. depending on my classes during the evening, my health and the weather.
What I love about being a vendor is the relationships I build with not only my customers, but with the communities. I love the conversation and mutual respect that is built over time.

I worry about my future financially. I work part-time and the StreetWise Magazine income is a vital lifeline to pay rent and bills. I have a 10-year-old and recently got married. I have been paying off old debts to fix my credit because we would like to buy our first home.

I enjoy talking to my customers about a lot of things. They love talking about office things, politics, sports… I love how proud my customers are because they support what I do and my goals.

I am planning on finishing my double associate’s degree for Business and Accounting. My husband is going to school for Criminal Justice to be a police officer. After June, I will take a break from school. I smile about coming home after work to cook, clean and be a mom and wife. I missed a lot of my daughter’s life working and going to school. I don’t regret my education, but I am looking forward to having more family time.

I wish all StreetWise customers would get to know their vendors. We are not all homeless, we don’t all have substance abuse problems. We have goals and the will to survive. I believe if they gave us a chance, they would see we are not that different from them.

StreetWise helps me cover my rent, bills and pay down my debt and student loans by selling magazines. Someday I hope to be wealthy enough to help the communities and organizations that have helped me get where I am today.

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