City to Street
The Big Issue – Helping People Help Themselves

The Big Issue is an organisation that develops socially responsible activities and street sold newspaper written by professional journalists around the world, with the intent to provide creative, sustainable solutions to homelessness and give opportunities to marginalised people to positively change their outlook on life. They are an organisation who have used entrepreneurial practises to develop sound business strategies to encourage social inclusion and ease on poverty. 
The people who are involved in the Big Issue are very diverse including those from mental illness, homelessness, long-term unemployment, intellectual and physical disability, drug and alcohol dependency, family breakdown and refugees. All the people involved in the programs are treated with complete dignity and respect and they aim at promoting great aspects of independence and self-reliance. 
Their innovative programs centre around helping socially disadvantaged individuals to build confidence and social capacity while connecting with communities. This is achieved through the Street Magazine, Community Street Soccer Program, Women’s Subscription and the Big Issue Classroom. 
The Big Issue Street Magazine:
The Big Issue street magazine has been designed so the Vendors purchase the copies for $2.50 and sell them for $5.00. This not only helps raise well needed funds but it helps individuals gain a better perspective of value for work and money. There are more than 3000 authorised vendors who have been recruited, trained and supported by this organisation in Australia and with over 12 million dollars being directly earned by them it has been a great motivation for many more to join.

The Big Issue Classroom
The Big Issue Classroom has been designed to provide a diverse range of educational workshops for primary, secondary and tertiary students. 
An insight into homelessness is gained through a one-hour workshop that explores the issues of homelessness and social justice inequalities in Australia’s society, and then helps understand how these problems can be addresses.
Sessions help give students a better understanding of how people can become homeless and how hard it is for them put piece their life back together. It also gives a sense of motivation to the students lifestyle. 

The Women’s Subscription Enterprise
The women’s Subscription has been designed to provide employment, training and pathway opportunities for disadvantaged women. This is done through the money raised from the sale of subscriptions to The Big Issue Magazine which provides the resources to employ women as Despatch Assistants, sorting, collating and inserting magazines for distribution to subscribers. The effects from this can not only provide payed employment but they will also receive ongoing training, pathway opportunities and the chance to develop their skills in a safe, secure and rewarding environment. There has been no pressure added with the magazine subscriptions being sold commercially so there is no need to make sales, with wages being paid from honest work.

The Big Issue Community Street Soccer Program
The Street Soccer Program promotes social inclusion and personal change for homeless, marginalised and disadvantaged individuals. Street soccer is made up of mixed teams where they play and train once a week. It gives people hope and takes their problems off their mind while in a controlled environment. Support staff also work closely with the players by linking to them to the other services and addressing their personal needs. 

The Big Issue has positive effects due to the creative and innovative programs and support for individuals. They are continuing to grow towards a future where people are completely willing to receive help and wanting to have a sense of purpose and belonging while improving mental health, self esteem and social isolation. 


Brook, Stephen,2008, "Big Issue relaunched as sales rise"
The Big Issue, Facts, Viewed 24th March 2011,
The Big Issue, General Information, Viewed 24th March 2011,
The Big Issue, Introduction, Viewed 23rd March 2011,

4/17/2011 11:52:14 am

The Big Issue classroom sounds really interesting. Do you know how we could organize to attend one of the sessions?

Fergus Creese
5/4/2011 07:32:55 pm

Hey Nikki, the programs for education are actually addressed to primary secondary and tertiary students and the soccer program is for the homelessness but if you would like to help out and come more informed at the same time we would love to help point you in the right direction!

5/5/2011 04:16:01 pm

I am a tertiary student :)
Just to the purpose of the class to inform non-homeless people (like myself) about the issues with homelessness? Are the classes run by the homeless at all or do they contribute to them? I am fairly ignorant about the issues within the homeless community but I attended something that sounds similar @ the soup kitchen in hosier laneway, is this by chance the big issue classroom? Cheers

12/30/2011 10:31:46 pm

nice post

1/26/2012 05:03:43 am

Appreciate your details

3/22/2012 06:13:10 am

THX for info

3/27/2012 06:12:08 am

THX for info

4/19/2012 12:41:24 am

will come back shortly

7/12/2012 10:29:50 am

Great info, thx

9/19/2012 09:55:11 pm



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