The Big Issue

Photo:The 'Big Issue' offices, Queens Road, Brighton

The 'Big Issue' offices, Queens Road, Brighton

From a private collection

Photo:Selling the 'Big Issue' on the streets of Brighton

Selling the 'Big Issue' on the streets of Brighton

From a private collection

Homeless but not hopeless

By Ron

'Ron' (who asked for his real name to be withheld) was interviewed for the website on 16th September 2003:

"I was made homeless a year ago and spent six months sleeping rough before I managed to get into a squat. People might think that is a long time to be out of work and selling the Issue, but it's not always as easy to get out of a rut as it sounds.

"Selling The Issue doesn't get me loads of money, like some people think, and it's no fun standing on the street for hours on end. People can be all right, but some give you real dirty looks as they go past. You just have to swallow it, really. The nice people make up for it, I suppose.

"I'm hoping to get a part time job soon - that way I might be able to put some money away for a deposit on a flat - the council can't help me because I haven't got a local connection, so three of us are going to try and get a shared place privately. If you don't have a proper job and a proper address, the council don't want to know. With a bit of luck we'll get something together.

"What people need to bear in mind is that we're not all wasters - some of us really want to get a better life - I know I do!"

From the Lesser Heard Voices project, 2003
Interviewed for the website on 16th September, 2003
This page was added on 22/03/2006.
Comments about this page
This webpage is very good. Keep it up!
By Jenny (12/11/2003)

Like any organisation one may probe into, the Big Issue setup allows room for dislike by some for the simple reason that in anything there can be those who take advantage of the system quite successfully; and that room for suspicion for some is likely to remain. Both my wife and I try to make a judgement on the spot and if we make a positive one, we donate without obtaining the Issue. Now, that can be deemed by some as a bad way of dealing with those who are selling it, but we''re old enough and have come through enough in life without being perhaps wrongly influenced by the way matters appear to be. In other words, when you've been really, really poor and have succeeded in life to be comfortable, the realisation that one's own previous endurances may be suffered in measure by anyone else can help in the way one reacts to those sellers. Anonymous Ron comes across as a trier and it seems to me that he'll one day succeed. Good luck.

By Ron Spicer (06/07/2008)

If you're already a registered user of this site, please login using the form on the left-hand side of this page.