Streetwise - Why We Write
by Chef J. Hugh
(Chicago / Gold Coast)
Ginny and Chef J. both have given years of effort to the tragedy of homelessness. Both have a personal understanding of the problem. Ginny’s sister, Susie, died alone in a homeless shelter. A talented professional artist, Susie fell victim to drug and alcohol addiction. Susie lost her job, her husband, her home and her self-respect. Ginny was too young to help. Eventually Susie lost her life.
Chef J. grew up in the housing projects of South Boston. His mother, an orphan; raised six children by herself. Chef J. grew up in a world of “skid row” homeless, drug gangs and despair. Many of the Chef’s childhood friends – and one of his brothers - later died homeless.
A few years ago, Chef J. noticed a homeless man selling streetwise in front of Starbucks. Over the next few months Chef watched this vendor slowly transform. From a tattered, dazed pan-handler; this man became a clear headed, well mannered businessman. This man went on to open his own successful limousine service! Chef J. was astounded.
That experience lead Chef J. and Ginny to contact Streetwise. They both new this paper – Streetwise – was doing something wonderful. Streetwise was bringing people back from the edge. This paper was giving people back dignity and purpose.
Streetwise was hope. Ginny and The Chef could not go back in time. They could not save Ginny’s sister or Chef’s brother. However – they both knew, this paper could save others. They knew. If they could, they must help.
From that day on, Ginny and The Chef have written for Streetwise.
You can read Chef J.'s column via www.streetwise.org
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