Our Vendors 

Darrell Handy: Dedicated and determined

Thu, Sep 4, 2014

2Darrell Handy sells his magazines outside of Whole Foods at Addison and Halsted, where he has made a very good impression on both the store managers and the neighborhood. He plans to remain in good standing by be¬ing determined, honest and polite. He has been a StreetWise vendor for only four months and has already been promoted to the position of a Quality Assurance Team member – vendors in good standing who supervise the vendor force.

How did you become a StreetWise vendor?
I was just dedicated and determined. It was hard for me to find employment and [my daughter told me about it]… plus, I’ve always known about StreetWise. And I got discouraged at first, but you’ve got to be really hungry. You might be there an hour or an hour and a half before you sell a magazine. And if you can’t handle rejection, then it’s not the job for you. But rejection’s all a part of success.

I understand that you just got another job, too…
I just got hired at TJ Maxx. The security guard at Whole Foods told me that they were hiring. So I went down there and got interviewd the same day. A day later, I get a call and I go to orientation. After orientation, it was a done deal. I work Friday and Saturday. I don’t know [what I’ll be doing there yet], because the store is brand new. It’s at 600 N. Michigan Ave-nue. I’m one of the first to be hired, so they’re going to have us put shelves up and put the clothes in and pretty much do everything.

Do you feel like StreetWise helped connect you to this job?
Yes, that’s what [StreetWise] is good for, because people see you out there and see you’re determined. That means if you come to StreetWise, you get out there for eight to 10 hours per day. If you can put that time in, somebody’s seeing you and knowing that you’re not a lazy person. There are some that think that this is a lazy way out. This is not a lazy way out, because without StreetWise, I wouldn’t be fortunate enough to be going where I’m going, because I would never have gotten the chance to meet somebody to get somewhere else.

Tell me more about your life…
I was born and raised in Chicago. I’m from the South Side. My daughter is 23 and I have three boys, ages 22, 34 and 34. I just like the simple things in life. I’ve done pretty much everything. I’ve been on my own since I was 13, so I’ve made a lot of wrong turns. So I’m getting back on the right path. I grew up fast.

I try to teach [my children] the right things as far as being independent and life is what you make it. And never be a quit¬ter. Wherever there’s a negative, there’s a positive.

I lost my grandmother when I was [young]. That’s where I get being independent from, because she always instilled that in me. If you owe somebody something, pay them back. I also make it my business to stick to my word. That’s another thing that my grandmother taught me, your word is your bond.

In closing, I’d like to tell my customers how much I appreci¬ate them. Also, I’d like to give a shoutout to Greg, the security guard at Whole Foods!

Story & Photo by Brittany Langmeyer
StreetWise Publisher

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