The Big Issue : Edition 556
THEBIGISSUE.ORG.AU 23 FEB–8 MAR 2018 7 STREETSHEET KARATE KID I first started at The Big Issue a few years ago, after I left Bedford Industries where I was a gardener. I came back to selling last year and also started some new gardening work in March 2016. I was born with Asperger’s syndrome. When I was at high school I did karate but I only made it to blue belt. I stopped it in Year 9. I also liked my toy trains when I was a boy and also played football with my primary school’s football teams. My grandma is still alive today. She is 93 years old. I enjoy selling The Big Issue magazine because I see nearly the same people pass me by every week at the Adelaide railway station and they come up to me and buy magazines. New customers also come to say hello to me. Sean J sells The Big Issue at Adelaide Railway Station. HARD-WON BATTLES Please don’t look down on me. I’m out here as much as I can. Please don’t look down on me. I’m doing the best I can. Yes, I have cats in a pram with me. If you asked I would tell you My cats are my support. You see I have depression and anxiety. So I’m asking you Please don’t look down on me. Talk to me, find out about me. I was homeless and YES also a heroin addict. I begged and I worked full-time. Then I found The Big Issue. Now I’m 12 years clean, housed in a unit. As well as working three different jobs Within The Big Issue. So I’m begging you Please don’t look down on me. Stories, poems and pictures by Big Issue vendors and friends It is with a heavy heart we farewell Rob, who has passed away. Rob was an old-timer; he’d been with The Big Issue since 2000, and we had a close relationship. Rob had a great sense of adventure; his disability didn’t stop him doing so many amazing things. He loved to travel, visiting Japan, London and New York. In Hawaii, he swam in the surf. He would say, “Don’t tell me why I can’t do it, tell me how I can do it.” Rob was creative and did several acting, writing and film workshops we ran. One of Rob’s short films was Bums, a funny piece about his direct line of sight of the world from where he sat. It was this sense of humour that often had us in stitches. Rob had a great connection to his customers, friends, vendors and staff. We will all miss him and his booming voice. We’ll miss Rob being Rob – a cheeky bugger. Gemma Pidutti, Vendor Support, Melbourne Or my fellow vendors. We are out there doing the best we can. We’re trying to survive as best we can. As The Big Issue says “It’s a hand up, not a hand out.” So look us straight in the eyes as we say “Hello, good morning or have a good day.” We’re out here working not begging. Cheryl sells The Big Issue in Melbourne. HEAVEN SENT Back in 2014, I was staying in a one- bedroom unit. One day I checked Facebook and noticed that someone had added me. Not knowing who she was or that I would fall in love, I accepted. Sooner or later I asked her to dinner. When she arrived I saw that heaven had sent me an angel. Two years later we are still in love with a beautiful son and are now engaged, due to be married this year. Gary D sells The Big Issue at 100 Creek St, Brisbane. CAREER COUNSELLOR I was on Bathurst and Pitt one day when a lady came up to me who was very anxious about going to a job interview. I spoke to her for a while and helped calm her nerves and then she came back a week later and thanked me for calming her down as she got the job and was very happy for me calming her nerves. Jacob S sells The Big Issue at Bathurst and Pitt, Sydney. ALI ENS EARTH TECH Tidy face poem Is the thing to do Tell me the voices attach Me in my room gives me nightmare Conrad sells The Big Issue on Bridge Rd, Richmond, Melbourne. » All vendor contributors to Streetsheet are paid for their work.