Lee: ourvendors

Our vendors: The Bear Whisperer (Megaphone, Vancouver, Canada)

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.

Our vendors: Richard Gerrard (Megaphone, Victoria, Canada)

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.

Vendor City Guide: Edinburgh

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.

Life on the Streets: Prone to loss

Portland’s Street Roots has a periodic column about the parts of homelessness most people don’t talk about. People in extreme poverty are experts on loss, whether it be their belongings, their privacy, their dignity or anything else.

Our vendors: Sonja Stockhammer (Apropos, Salzburg, Austria)

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.

Our vendors: Alunita Nicola (Surprise, Winterthur, Switzerland)

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.

Life on the Streets: The proliferation of private guards

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.

Our vendors: Linda Pelletier (L’Itinéraire, Montréal, Québec, Canada)

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 “beautiful feathers” 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.

Vendor City Guide: Gold Coast

Street paper vendors have been giving the inside scoop on the cities they know best. Here, The Big Issue Australia vendor Mark talks about the Gold Coast.

Vendor City Guide: Inverness

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. Here, vendor Daniel talks about Inverness.

Life on the Streets: A love story

Portland’s Street Roots has a periodic column about the parts of homelessness most people don’t talk about. Through the tough times and the good, vendors Johnny and Stephanie find that life is better together.

Our vendors: Pauli (Zeitschrift der Strasse, Bremen, Germany)

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.

Vendor City Guide: Oxford

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. Here, vendor Steve talks about Oxford.

Vesna Avramović: The lessons I have learned from Liceulice

In this letter, Liceulice vendor Vesna Avramović tells a very personal story. She describes the personal changes that working as a vendor have brought into her life. She used to lack the confidence to communicate, was prone to anxiety attacks and was also afraid of all sorts of rejection. In time, these tensions lessened, and she started to find joy in her life and work.

Vendor City Guide: Prague

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. Here, Nový Prostor vendor Slavko talks about Prague in the Czech Republic.

Vendor City Guide: Cardiff

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. Here, Maurice Richards, a Big Issue vendor in Wales, talks about Cardiff.

Thoughts of a truly European vendor

Janko is a Nový Prostor vendor currently based in Prague, Czech Republic. He has over eight years’ experience of being a magazine vendor and he has worked in various European countries during this time. Here, he talks about what his life as a vendor is like and explains why striving for good fortune and having hopes for the future are important in life.

Our vendors: Rooster Tinch (Toledo Streets, Toledo, USA)

In a twist on the long-running vendor profile feature, Claire McKenna tells us more about Toledo Streets vendor Rooster Tinch. Claire is a Toledo Streets vendor and program manager who has become close to Rooster since he started working as a vendor in early 2018. Here, she talks about how Rooster has become part of the Toledo Streets family and a valued and successful team member – and shares the maxims that he lives by.

Glasgow pays tribute to much-loved Big Issue vendor Paul Kelly

After news of his death broke early last week, tributes began to pour in for popular Big Issue vendor Paul Kelly. Today at his pitch, outside Sainsbury’s supermarket on the city’s main shopping street Buchanan Street, where flowers, messages and mementos had sprung up in his absence, a crowd of people joined friends, colleagues, and others who had been touched by his character and presence, for a vigil in his memory.

Stress on the streets

All of us experience some degree of stress in our everyday lives. For those who are homeless, however, stress can be a debilitating and chronic issue. Street Roots talked to a number of individuals about their experiences of life on the streets and about the impact that stress has had on their lives. This is especially pertinent as delegates at this year’s ongoing Global Street Paper Summit talk about dealing with conflict and vendor welfare.

Our vendors: Sascha (Asphalt, Hannover, Germany)

Asphalt vendor Sascha talks about his struggles with his mental health, his childhood, his love of movies and his penchant for creating movie themed podcasts. Asphalt is based in Hannover, the city hosting this year’s Global Street Paper Summit.

A day out with Draussenseiter vendor Lothar

At the end of January, when there was still snow in Cologne, Draussenseiter vendor Lothar was equipped with an analogue camera and asked to record a day in his life. He liked the idea and started documenting straight away. Here you can see the selection of photos Lothar captured, along with his comments.

Our vendors: Reghina (Asphalt, Hannover, Germany)

Originally from Romania, Reghina (55) is now an Asphalt vendor in Hannover, the host of this year’s Global Street Paper Summit. Here she speaks about being the subject of discrimination in her home country, moving with her kids to the Czech Republic, and then herself to Germany, and finding a kind of friendship with her customers.

#INSP2019, Asphalt and Hannover: Learning about Summit hosts from its vendors

A group of #INSP2019 delegates were lucky enough to learn about Hannover’s homelessness situation from host street paper, Asphalt, and one of its vendors, Thomas. Delegates visited the Asphalt office, learning about its processes and were given a tour of social spots important to those living on the streets of Hannover.

Vendor City Guide: Hannover

As street paper delegates arrive in Hannover for the 2019 INSP Summit, and embark on a walking tour of the city, Thomas, a vendor of Hannover’s street paper Asphalt, gives his insider tips to where to go and what to do.

The love that grows by being shared

Bojana Ivanov Ljubomirov and Petar Jugovic are Liceulice vendors who have found happiness together. They were already working as magazine vendors when they met each other, and they have gone from strength to strength since joining forces to sell the magazine together. Not only are they growing in confidence; they are also building a life together and sharing their joy with others.

Vendor City Guide: Perth

Street paper vendors have been giving the inside scoop on the cities they know best. Here, The Big Issue Australia vendor Malcolm talks about Perth.

Each person is unique

Isabelle Raymond, a L’itinéraire vendor based in Montréal, has always been sensitive to the differences between people. As a child, she recalls trying to educate her classmates when they made fun of students at a nearby school for children with special needs. When her sister was born with several health needs, and later diagnosed with intellectual disabilities, Isabelle gained privileged insights into what life is like for someone with special needs.