Standing in the corridor outside the exit gate of Hsinchu Railway Station, Li-qiu is waiting for customers to buy copies of Big Issue Taiwan from her. She is still adjusting after moving to her new pitch less than a month ago after construction work started at her old one. “I’m trying to get used to it. I’m not quite familiar with the environment and customers over here,” she says. Despite the fact that sales have been slow today, Li-qiu thrives on her contact with customers and is happy to be working.
Nikola Babic, 50, sells Surprise in the centre of Langenthal, Switzerland. He moved to Switzerland from Serbia five years ago and has remained in Switzerland because of political problems in his home country. He contacted Surprise while struggling to find work and is grateful to have been given the opportunity to become a vendor. He is looking forward to spending his remaining years before retirement doing the very best he can at his work.
James Jenkins sells Real Change from his pitch at the QFC grocery story on Broadway and Pike Street in Capitol Hill. Jenkins has Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM), a rare neurological disorder that makes working nine-to-five unfeasible for him. He enjoys working as a Real Change vendor because it offers him the flexibility to work on the days that he feels well enough to do so.
Jan became homeless in 2000 and moved to Vienna from the Czech Republic seven years ago. He has struggled to secure long-term employment as a result of his visual impairment and returned to his work as an Augstin vendor earlier this year. Here, he talks about the importance of community and the experiences that led him back to Augustin.
Like INSP, this year Montréal street paper L’Itinéraire is celebrating its 25th anniversary. In a special edition of the magazine to coincide with celebrations of the milestone, L’Itinéraire vendor Jean-Paul Lebel wrote candidly about his break-up, drug use, how he got involved selling the street paper and the effect that has had on his life.
Keira sells The Big Issue from her pitch at Miranda train station, Sydney. She has been working for The Big Issue since leaving school and is grateful for the community that exists among those working for the paper. Keira has been a wheelchair user since having an operation to remove a brain stem tumour when she was eight and has been a long-time advocate for those who use wheelchairs. She views her work as a vendor as another important aspect of her efforts to increase awareness.
Summer may be over, but due to pollution, the trapping of heat in urban areas and global warming, the autumn months may not prove to be much cooler for people living on the streets. In a periodic column about the parts of homelessness most people don’t talk about, Street Roots vendors talk about the burden of living on the streets when the weather is hot.
Mjongeni Malanti is a single father and a man of many talents. He is quick to learn, has many different skills and finds great pleasure in photography. Malanti believes in persevering, no matter what obstacles are in his path.
CEO selling events are a staple way for street papers to drum up interest and educate both high-flying business people and celebrities, as well as regular members of the public, on the work they do. South Tyrol’s zebra. held their first ever such event earlier this month, inviting sports brand mogul Heiner Oberrauch to sell the street paper with vendor David Charles for an afternoon. The magazine’s editor Lisa Frei reports back on how it went.
Remus has previous for selling street papers. In fact, he’s a bit of a veteran after a six-year stint as a vendor in Amsterdam. Now, he is selling The Big Issue in London, and using the skills he has learned to hone his craft in this new environment. He will also get the chance to utilise The Big Issue’s new contactless payments scheme.
Curbside Chronicle vendors don’t just sell magazines. Although that’s probably what you’ll catch our green-vested sales force doing in public, it’s only one facet of their lives. Vendors love movies, sports and art just like anyone else. When vendors transition back into housing, it not only creates more opportunities for stability and comfort but also allows them to pursue their hobbies. From painting and drawing to tabletop gaming and leather work, here’s what some of our vendors do in their free time.
The Bear Whisperer is a vendor who sells Megaphone, the Hope in Shadows calendar and Voices of the Street literary anthology in downtown Vancouver. This is a story of his travelling days, hard work and journey to British Columbia – the province where he found the opportunities that changed his life.
Richard Gerrard has been selling street papers in Victoria since 2007 and became a Megaphone vendor in 2014. As well as enjoying his Saturday shifts selling the paper from his pitch outside the Bay Centre on Douglas Street, Victoria, Gerrard enjoys creating things, history and the occasional sweet treat.
The Big Issue has been reaching out to vendors across the street paper network to get the inside scoop on the cities they know best. In the midst of the worldwide renowned Edinburgh Festival, otherwise known as the Fringe, vendor George Whyte talks about the Scottish capital.
Sonja Stockhammer isn’t a woman to beat around the bush; nor is she a chatterbox. But through her judicious choice of words she paints a vivid picture of her life and loves. When she met Christina Repolust for an interview, Sonja talked quickly and eloquently about her love for her horses, dogs and cats, her experiences as a street paper vendor and her feeling that anything is possible.
Alunita Nicola is from Romania and she now works as a Surprise vendor in Winterthur, Switzerland. The thing that motivates Alunita is her desire to provide a better life for her son than the one that she has had: Alunita experienced a challenging upbringing in Romania before first travelling to Germany at the age of 19. Now living in Switzerland, Alunita is working hard to support herself and her son and is optimistic about what she can achieve through hard work.
Portland’s Street Roots has a periodic column about the parts of homelessness most people don’t talk about. Some Street Roots vendors welcome added security; others say private guards – who are not police – overstep their bounds.
Linda Pelletier is a L’Itinéraire vendor who sells the paper from her pitch at Marché Maisonneuve in Montréal. She has faced many challenges in her life and now considers herself as one of the many good writers at L’Itinéraire. Here, we learn more about her experiences earlier in life and her journey through trauma to self-acceptance. Now, aged 64, she can appreciate the beauty within herself.
Pauli is one of Zeitschrift der Strasse’s original vendors and is recognisable thanks to his trademark FC St. Pauli baseball cap. Here, he looks back on the challenges of his early life and talks candidly about his experience of homelessness. He is feeling hopeful about the future thanks to the companionship of his beloved pet dog, Laika, who inspired him to confront his addictions.