Tackling the big issues together

The Big Issue helps people from all walks of life to earn a living, build confidence and reconnect with community.

Independent and not-for-profit, The Big Issue creates low-barrier work opportunities for those experiencing homelessness, long-term unemployment, intellectual and physical disability, mental illness, drug and alcohol dependency and family breakdown.

Best-known for their fortnightly magazine, copies of The Big Issue are bought by vendors for $4.50 and sold on the streets for $9, with vendors keeping the difference. The Big Issue has generated a staggering $32 million in income for its vendors in its 25 year history.

We’re proud of our long-standing partnership with The Big Issue, which sees Origin volunteers regularly support pathways to employment for those facing homelessness and disadvantage. From cooking hot breakfasts for magazine vendors, hosting their Christmas parties, selling magazines on the street alongside vendors, and helping with data analysis, we’ve been tackling the big issues together since 2005.

With more than 46,000 Australian women experiencing homelessness each night, largely due to domestic and family violence, selling the magazine on the streets is not always a viable or safe option for women. The Big Issue saw an urgent need to provide safe, female-friendly employment opportunities and so the Women’s Subscription Enterprise (WSE) was established. It provides employment and training for vulnerable women, through the sale of subscriptions to The Big Issue magazine.

Volunteers from Origin’s contact centre stepped in to help establish the WSE, with training and mentoring, and continue to provide hands-on support to the WSE women every fortnight. More than 160 women have been employed in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth through the WSE which has evolved to include fulfilment projects for government and corporate organisations.

The Women’s Subscription Enterprise is another way The Big Issue is helping people to help themselves. You too can support jobs for vulnerable women by taking out a magazine subscription for your home or business. More at thebigissue.org.au.

You might also like:

The house the kids built

Number crunching to help country kids

Lending a hand is no risky business