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Archive for: Vendor Profiles

Lawrence Brown: hard worker, rain or shine

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July 23, 2014 by StreetWise

Self-described as a “hardworking man,” Lawrence Brown vends outside of a Walgreens in Wicker Park seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. With the hope of restarting his own construction company, Lawrence demonstrates the determination and ability to persevere through anything. MARISSA: How long have you been with StreetWise? LAWRENCE: I’ve been[...]

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Jimmie Beckless and his ‘relentless positivity’

Jimmie Beckless, photo by Marissa Diekhoff

July 21, 2014 by StreetWise

Jimmie Becklass has been a StreetWise vendor for five years and has truly made a home for himself selling outside of a Starbucks on West Taylor Street. Throughout the interview, Jimmie’s answers were peppered with greetings, jokes, and well wishes from countless regular customers passing by. His relentless positivity and sense of humor seems to[...]

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Meet Andy Pappas

Andy Pappas

July 15, 2014 by StreetWise

How did you find StreetWise/Get into StreetWise? When Andy first found StreetWise, he was downtown and a vendor asked him if he wanted to purchase a StreetWise magazine. Andy purchased StreetWise and then asked if the vendor knew where he could be employed. The vendor directed him to StreetWise. How long have you been employed[...]

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Melinda Rogers: a big smile for the Board of Trade

Melinda Rogers holds the keys to her new apartment.

July 14, 2014 by StreetWise

Melinda Rogers has brought her vibrant spirit and big smile to StreetWise for over 20 years. She can be found making jokes at the Board of Trade building (off Jackson Boulevard and LaSalle Street) during the week and around Michigan and Superior on the weekends. When did you get involved with StreetWise? I’ve been with[...]

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Jackie Robinson: his legacy at Belden and Clark

StreetWise Vendor Jackie Robinson

July 1, 2014 by StreetWise

StreetWise Vendor Jackie Robinson may not boast of a history of ground-breaking baseball playing, but his customers will certainly attest that his legacy is no less impactful. Every day, Jackie impresses the residents near Belden and Clark (where he vends) with his shining spirit and undeniable drive to defeat any challenge thrown his way. Brittany:[...]

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Jan Creel: a ‘vibrant presence’ on Halsted & Diversey

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June 30, 2014 by StreetWise

On the bustling corner of Diversey and Halsted, locals have grown accustomed to Jan Creel’s vibrant presence. So accustomed in fact, that they’re quick to recognize when something’s amiss. Creel told StreetWise about a health scare she had while working a few weeks back. A customer named Ryan noticed that Creel was lacking her usual[...]

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Wayne Smith: thankful for the support of Evanston

Wayne Smith StreetWise Vendor

June 17, 2014 by StreetWise

Wayne Smith, 60, has been a vendor for 2½ years in Evanston, where he has lived since age 7. He rooms in a house with shared kitchen and bathroom. Previously, he lived in shelters for two years. He became homeless because he couldn’t afford an apartment after child support deductions. Later, he was on a[...]

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Ed Cephus: A father to his children and to the community

June 17, 2014 by StreetWise

Ed Cephus is a familiar face of StreetWise to many Chicagoans because he sells in front of the Art Institute. He is the subject of our Father’s Day feature because while he and his significant other, Monique, have no children of their own, they are parenting children who have been left to their care. How[...]

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Julie Gurak: Moving forward with a smile and laughter

Julie Gurak StreetWise Vendor

June 17, 2014 by StreetWise

Julie Gurak is a ball of energy and laughs. She came into the StreetWise office today, smiling from ear to ear, and ready for her interview. “Ok, ok! Ask me some questions already!” she excitedly exclaimed. Julie is 44 years old and currently sells her StreetWise magazines in Oak Park, Illinois. “I’m the only [StreetWise[...]

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Alex Nunez: Mom inspired to do well for her son

June 13, 2014 by StreetWise

StreetWise Vendor Alex Nunez has been with the agency for nearly three years and has found great success. She is the recipient of the 2013 Rookie of the Year Award and currently sells her magazines at Randolph and Wacker, Monday through Friday from 3:30 to 7 p.m. How did you find StreetWise? I was looking[...]

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