Our Vendors 

Steve Allen: a man and his dog

Thu, Mar 28, 2013

Vendor, Steve Allen

How did you come to StreetWise?
I used to sell years ago when StreetWise [was located] on Michigan Avenue, but this time [I came back] about 2009. I worked at McCormick Place as a Teamster – that’s the trucker’s union – loading and unloading trucks. I got laid off in 2009.

Why did you choose StreetWise?
Well, there was money in it and it’s sales. You have to work with the public and have patience, but you’re your own boss and you make your own time.

What’s the most difficult thing about selling StreetWise?
I mean, you have good days and you have bad days. It’s not all peaches and cream. But I know that there’s good people out there that care to help you. And I don’t drink and I don’t use drugs. I have to take care of my dog and I have a truck payment that I have to make.

I notice that you have your dog with you sometimes.
She’s a chocolate lab and [my customers] always ask how she’s doing. Her name is Latte and she’s seven. She’s my buddy. I found her on Craigslist when she was only 5 months old. We’ve been everywhere together.

If you were to have another job after StreetWise, what would it be?
I can do [house] painting and things like that. I also have worked maintenance before at a church for 14 years. It was St. Paul’s at LaSalle and Goethe.

You are also a member of the StreetWise Quality Assurance Team… why did you take on that responsibility?
Greg, [the Director of Vendor Services], asked me to do it, because I’m reliable. And I like it, because it’s nice to help out and give back and make sure everything [at StreetWise] is in order. We make sure everything is going the way it’s supposed to.

Steve’s Dog, Latte

What is your goal for your future?
I’d like to build a log cabin. That’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time, since I was younger. I’d like to get a few acres of land in Wisconsin or somewhere and I’d like to have my own freedom. I like the outdoors. And in the city, even if I had the money, I wouldn’t buy a condo here, because there’s too many restrictions. I’d just like a log cabin, just to have, that’s my own.

Is there anything you’d like to say to StreetWise or your customers?
I’m just thankful for StreetWise. It gives me the opportunity to help myself and help my dog and help somebody else if I can. And of course, I’d like to thank my customers and all the people who serve us, like the policemen and firemen. There’s beautiful people out there and they’ve really helped me.

By Brittany Langmeyer
StreetWise Staff

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