Lee: ourvendors

Our vendors: Petra (Hinzt&Kunzt, Hamburg, Germany)

Petra, 55, sells Hinz&Kunzt in front of the Edeka supermarket in the Winterhude quarter of Hamburg, often in the company of her dog, Luna. Here, Petra talks about the friendly relationships that she has with many of her customers and talks about what life has been like since she became homeless three years ago. One day, she hopes to have a place of her own that she can call home.

Our vendors: Erasmo Navarrete (Mi Valedor, Mexico City, Mexico)

Erasmo Navarrete has found hope and direction since becoming a Mi Valedor vendor. Despite his earlier struggles with alcoholism, he never lost his enthusiasm for work or his honest approach to life. Here, he looks back on his life and talks about the positive changes that have taken place since he became a Mi Valdor vendor, thanks to the support that he has received from others.

Our vendors: Rhonda (The Curbside Chronicle, Oklahoma City, USA)

Rhonda, a vendor for Oklahoma City street paper The Curbside Chronicle, speaks candidly here about her childhood, upbringing, experiences of abuse, marriage and fighting her way back to housing.

Our vendors: Chao-you Chen (The Big Issue Taiwan, Taipei, Taiwan)

Chen has been selling The Big Issue Taiwan at Xihu Station since the start of this year. Business is up and down, but he is determined to succeed: he chose his pitch at Xihu Station after realising there weren’t any vendors already working there and he has made the spot his own. Here, he looks back on his life and expresses his gratitude to those who have helped him through difficult times.

“I already have a real job”

Real Change vendor Jen Tibbits rebuts one of the most common criticisms of street paper sellers across our network: “Why don’t you get a real job?”

Our vendors: Andrea, Selene and Vicky (Hecho en Bs As, Buenos Aires, Argentina)

Andrea, Selene and Vicky are all Hecho en Bs As vendors and each one has her own story to tell. All three have something in common: their involvement with HBA has been a turning point in their lives. Andrea would not change HBA for anything and now wants to finish high school; Selene is a successful vendor who dreams of traveling and being a writer; and Vicky believes that there is more to selling HBA than making sales and finds strength in her faith.

Our vendors: Lonnie Baker (Groundcover News, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA)

Lonnie Baker is a Groundcover News vendor in Ann Arbor who is feeling positive about the future. Here, he talks about his journey from homelessness to self-sufficiency and the lessons that he has learned along the way.

Big Issue North vendor Andy: “When I get to the Pearly Gates, I want a pitch outside”

Andy used to sell Big Issue North in Liverpool. This interview took place at the Marie Curie Hospice in the city in October 2017. Andy asked that it was published after his death. He passed away in March and his funeral was held in Liverpool.

Spending a day with a Real Change vendor

Glenn Walker has been all over the place, both in his life and as a Real Change vendor. He’s lived in Denver, New York and Chicago, but he’s lived in Seattle for years. As a Real Change vendor, he gets around, too: Issaquah, Bellevue and Bainbridge Island are all on his regular route. Hanna Brooks Olsen spent a day shadowing Glenn to find out about what it’s like to be a Real Change vendor.

Our vendors: John Williams (The Big Issue, Weston-super-Mare, UK)

John is a Big Issue vendor based in Weston-super-Mare who has been a magazine vendor for a few years. Here, he talks about his love for his home of over a decade, the town of Weston-super-Mare, and discusses what life is like for him as a Big Issue vendor.

Our vendors: Ntombovuyo Cekiso (The Big Issue, Cape Town, South Africa)

Ntombovuyo Cekiso, 29, sells The Big Issue at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. After moving to Cape Town over ten years ago, Ntombovuyo struggled to find secure employment. However, since becoming a Big Issue vendor, she has found both financial security and job satisfaction, and her life has changed for the better.

Megaphone vendor Suzanne on the importance of National Aboriginal Day

“I’m your sister and I walk with you,” says Suzanne Kilroy, as she discusses the importance of National Aboriginal Day, which is today. Here, she talks about the significance of the celebration, and the feelings of kinship with others and pride in her heritage that the day inspires in her.