The Big Issue was launched in London in 1991 by Gordon Roddick and A. John Bird. In 1980s, many unemployees are sent to the London streets. In order to help homeless people get back on their feet, Gordon Roddick and A. John Bird came up with the answer. Roddick and Bird gave the homeless an opportunity to earn legitimate income through hiring them as vendors. Vendors could make 50% profit by buying the magazine 1.25₤ and selling it 2.5₤. The founders established The Big Issue Foundation, which is network to provide vendors service and support on housing, health, finance, education, and employment. The foundation has encouraged support and talent donation to make The Big Issue. The Big issue opened a new paradigm in solving the problem of social structure. About 2.000 vendors are selling The Big Issue in all parts of the country and many have resettled back society.
THE BIG ISSUE KOREA
The Big Issue landed in Korea on July 5th, 2010. "Street 1004", a volunteer group that has been lasting for 19 years in order to help the homeless, became The Big Issue Korea. Now The Big Issue Korea reaches the selling of 15,000 to 20,000 copies per issue in the main station in Seoul, Busan, and Daejeon.
How To Run THE BIG ISSUE KOREA
The Big Issue Korea supports the homeless sell magazines stably, as it collaborates with SMG(Seoul Metropolitan Government), local authorities, Seoul Metro, and Seoul Metro line 9. If a homeless person decides to be a clerk, he or she is given 10 copies for free and then after selling them he or she uses the profit from the sales buy more copies. After buying copies for 2,500 won, the vendor earns 50% income by reselling them 5,000 won. After a temporary period of 2 weeks, he or she can become a formal "Big Pan". If he or she performs a role as "Big Pan" and saves money for 6 months, he or she can get a qualification to live in the rental house offered by SMG. Until January, 2016, around 90 recipients of "The Recognition Improvement Service for The Homeless" have moved to the rental house , and 20 Big Pans have been reemployed through The Big Issue.
The Big Issue Korea proceeds "The Recognition Improvement Service for The Homeless" as well as "Big Pan". It has a partnership with some agencies, companies and associations, such as SMG, Seoul Ballet Theater, and the Korea Council of the Arts. Under its collaboration, it runs some services like "The Homeless World Cup", "The Homeless Ballet", and "The Homeless Band". Through these works, it demonstrates the possibility of the homeless and helps them to adapt to society.
The Big Issue Korea is made by talent donation. Many celebrities appear in the magazine without being paid. "Big Dom", the Big Issue supporters, and "Big Shop" help Big Pans and promote The Big Issue. "Big Dom" helps the sale of the magazine and supports self-independence of Big Pans. The Big Issue supporters introduce The Big Issue through the internet. "Big Shop" is the store that helps Big Pan's sales. The Big Issue Korea operates on sponsorship. "Big Friends" is a network of sponsors that helps the homeless to be financially independent and return to the society. Individual supporters can help them by purchasing the magazine.
ST: How did you hear The Big Issue?
BIG PAN: In my homeless life, I moved to Goshiwon by the volunteer group of SMG and there first contacted The Big Issue.
ST: What is the difference from the past since you met The Big Issue?
BIG PAN: Before I am "Big Pan", I wanted to give up on my life. I was supposed to jump into Han River and drank too much. However, since I knew The Big Issue and have met people as a Big Pan, my thought has been transferred to being positive. "I can live as a human being! Let's do my best on life!" Now I live in a rental housing through working hard and saving profit for 6 months. I have my home. I am changed a lot and grateful to The Big Issue.
ST: what is your dream from now?
BIG PAN: I wanted to have my own business. If it is possible, I'd like to try it.
ST: How did you come to SSU to sell The Big Issue?
BIG PAN: The company assigns Big Pan the place to sell. But I chose SSU. I just liked this spot.
ST: If you tell the reader SSU students, what do you say?
BIG PAN: I really appreciate SSU students to buy The Big Issue. It is made of stories of many celebrities and information useful to students. I hope more students take active interest in The Big Issue.
The Big Issue gives the depressed homeless the way to overcome their life and stand up by theirselves. It is delivering hope to their life. The Big Issue is not the magazine to inform news but revive life of a person.