CHICAGO

Community Scrambles to Save StreetWise

05/17/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Less than two days after learning of the dire financial straits of StreetWise, the Chicago-based non-profit magazine that employs homeless people, Chicagoans have donated $40,000 and pledged even more to help save the publication.

News of the magazine's impending demise broke days before a City Council hearing on how the Chicago publication might be saved.

"This is not a hand-out," Ald. Manny Flores (1st) told the Sun-Times' Fran Spielman. "StreetWise has done an effective job of preventing homelessness. A good number of vendors are no longer homeless because of the income they're earning," Flores said.

Flores entered a resolution in March highlighting the weekly publication's plight, and the April 15th hearing was the Council's first on the issue.

Since then, the money has flowed in.

"There's been a marvelous outpouring of support from the community," StreetWise Executive Director Bruce Crane told the Huffington Post. "People have been telling us, 'If only we had known you'd needed this money sooner'."

The organization needs to raise $20,000 over the next 45 days to keep from shutting down and an additional $55,000 to make it through the rest of this year, Lorene Yue of Crain's reported Wednesday.

Crane confirmed that the organization had raised more than $40,000 as of Thursday, but said they could not continue to keep releasing the total in real time.

"I'm very optimistic we'll raise the money," Crane said. "We've got a host of other groups interesting in helping who have set up appointments to see if they can help subsidize or underwrite some of our programs."

According to the Tribune's James Janega, Jim and Kay Mabie made a $20,000 donation that came with a matching challenge to other potential donors. U.S. Rep. Danny Davis, a StreetWise board member, donated $1,000.

Crane said the City Council Committee on Human Relations is investigating what else it can do to help and that a meeting is scheduled next week.

"Chicago is a big city," Crane said. "Nothing happens overnight."

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