Empowering People to Work

StreetWise offers two distinct pathways toward economic inclusion - the Magazine Vendor Program and the S.T.E.P. Employment Program.



The Magazine Vendor Program

The job of selling StreetWise Magazine is a low-barrier, open opportunity for all.  It is vehicle for reengaging with community, cracking the hard shell of distrust or fear for a society that has demonstrated disgust and apathy, with only glimpses of empathy.

The StreetWise foundational program is the Magazine Vendor Program. StreetWise publishes a weekly magazine that we sell to our authorized vendors for $0.90, who in turn sell the magazine to the public for $2.00, earning $1.10 (plus tips) on the sale of each magazine.  They’re in business for themselves, emerging entrepreneurs who are building a business to meet their basic needs and provide for themselves and families. 


 Each vendor receives an initial orientation, sales training and 15 free magazines to launch their enterprise. Each vendor who complete the orientation and initial training is issued a temporary badge that authorizes them to sell magazines at assigned locations throughout the Metropolitan Chicagoland area.  All vendors receive ongoing support and training from our two Field Supervisors (who are veteran vendors) and monthly sales meetings.  Vendors also learn and hone hard skills in inventory management, budgeting, customer service and engagement in order to improve sales.



The StreetWise STEP Program is aimed at assisting at-risk job seekers in finding and maintaining sustainable employment. We help individuals eliminate barriers and overcome obstacles to employment and self-sufficiency. These barriers include homelessness or housing instability, gaps in employment, re-entry from incarceration or hospitalization, or magazine vendors seeking additional employment

Empowering People to Work!

  • The Employment Specialist completes the intake process including verifying employment eligibility, as well as assessing skills and interests
  • Individualized coaching sessions focus on workplace skills including communication, time management, professionalism, customer services, and problem-solving
  • Each participant receives assistance with resume writing, interviewing skills, job searches, and completing pre-employment requirements
  • All participants have access to ongoing support to maintain employment

The StreetWise S.T.E.P. Program graduates obtain employment in food service, the hospitality industry, security, light manufacturing, janitorial services, home health care, retail and more.

Our participants have over a 90% job retention rate, and our employers consistently report satisfaction with our program and their new employees.

For more information on the StreetWise Transitional Employment Program, contact Alexandria Maloney, Employment Specialist at amaloney@streetwise.org or 773-334-6600.

STEP is funded in part by the City of Chicago Department of Family & Support Services.






Support Services staff are dedicated to providing effective and comprehensive services in accordance with StreetWise’s overall mission.

Support Services include, but are not limited to:

    • Free hot meals provided daily in the StreetWise Café
    • Clothing for employment and seasonal weather conditions
    • Distribute toiletries and hygiene kits
    • Case management to connect participants with resources to meet basic needs 
    • Housing resource referrals
    • Partnerships with legal aid resources to help get criminal records expunged and sealed
    • Financial and Computer literacy workshops
    • Assistance obtaining public benefits, including SNAP, medical insurance and care, People With Disabilities Ride Free, and others
    • Help for getting necessary documents, including State IDs and birth certificates
    • Assistance connecting to public benefits, including County Care Medicaid Program, vision and dental
    • 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
    • Crisis counseling as well as Substance abuse and Mental Health support and referral


Office hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Wednesday from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. 

Amanda Jones serves as the Director of Programs at StreetWise. Amanda holds a Master of Social Work degree from University of Illinois at Chicago’s Jane Addams College of Social Work. She has several years of case management experience and has an extensive knowledge of services and community resources.

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.

Contact: Amanda Jones
Email: ajones@streetwise.org
Phone: 773-334-6600