The Big Issue Foundation was founded in 1991 and offers people who are homeless, in temporary accommodation, in danger of losing a home or unemployed a chance to make a legitimate income.
Vendors buy the magazine which is written by professional journalists at 50% of the cover price and can create, what the Foundation calls, their own ‘micro-business’ in order to earn a living. The Foundation believes that a 'hand up, not a hand out' is an effective formula towards helping those who are currently experiencing homelessness to becoming self-supporting.
Reporters Xi Chen and Jieying Guan spoke to some of the Big Issue sellers in Newcastle city centre and found out that that they earn £1.25 per issue sold. They spoke to one vendor who spoke little English but exclaimed, ‘I am here every day! I can sell 7 piece!’ Although he sleeps outside or in shelters every night he takes to the streets every day, even in the cold and unforgiving weather of Newcastle, with the aim of making a wage.