Empowering People to Work

StreetWise exists to elevate marginalized voices and provide opportunities for individuals to earn an income or gain employment. We offer two distinct pathways toward economic inclusion for anyone who wants to work -the Magazine Vendor Program and the S.T.E.P. Employment Program.  

 

 

The Magazine Sales Program

StreetWise magazine is an award-winning weekly publication that features stories about homelessness, poverty, injustice, inequality and life in Chicago. It also serves as a platform for people with lived experience to share their stories and their views as writers and more.

The magazine is sold on the streets of Chicago by low-income  or homeless vendors. Vendors buy the magazine for $.90 and sell it for $2.00 plus tips, supporting individual vendor livelihoods. The vendors receive training, ongoing support and incentives to grow their own microbusiness.  

Become a magazine vendor. 

 

 

 StreetWise S.T.E.P Program

This program helps individuals get ready for a job, get a job, and keep a job.  We specialize in assisting individuals who are homeless, justice-involved, receiving disability, or veterans, who have employment gaps and other barriers to stable work. 

More information or to join the program visit our S.T.E.P. page

S.T.E.P is funded in part by the City of Chicago Department of Family & Support Services.

 

STREETWISE CENTER AND SUPPORTIVE SERVICES

StreetWise offers additional resources to vendors and job seekers including:

    • Free grab and go meals provided daily in the StreetWise Café
    • Emergency and seasonal clothing 
    • Toiletries and hygiene kits
    • Case management to connect participants with resources to meet basic needs
    • Assistance or referral to enroll in public benefits, including SNAP, medical insurance and care, reduced-fare CTA, etc. 
    • Assistance getting Birth Certificate, State ID, and Social Security Cards 
    • Mail distribution and use as a stable address, essential for engaging with potential employers and government agencies
    • Use of telephone and cell phone charging stations
    • Substance abuse and Mental Health referrals

 Office hours: Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.  

StreetWise Support Services staff work in collaboration with Jane Addams College of Social Work at University of Illinois at Chicago, the School of Social Work at Loyola University Chicago, and DePaul University. Master of Social Work Candidates work as support services interns throughout the academic year and summer term.