Starting Nov. 5, StreetWise, the ubiquitous newspaper sold by some 200 street vendors, will become a full-color glossy magazine. The publication, which has been in print since 1992, is revamping its look and content to address the rise in homelessness in Chicago and the suburbs. The organization's goal is to increase readership and revenue (the price will now be $2, up from $1 since the paper's inception) for the homeless or near-homeless vendors who sell StreetWise. (Vendors buy the publications at wholesale, then earn money by selling the papers for retail price on the street.)
StreetWise is part of the International Network of Street Papers, a global network of newspapers sold by street vendors. Many publications of its kind are moving to a magazine format to keep up with demand from readers and advertisers who want more editorial content, design and quality.
StreetWise will also now be offering annual subscriptions to readers outside of the city who want to receive the weekly publication and help fund its programs, such as career skills training for vendors.
A launch party and fundraiser will be held Nov. 5 at CloseUp2 jazz club with an appearance by Chicago saxophonist Ray Silkman and other local jazz musicians, as well as a complimentary buffet. Tickets are $25 and can be bought in advance or at the door.