Wednesday, June 8, 2022
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Big Issue Vendor Profile: Jacob

Jacob. Photo: Samuel Clark
Jacob. Photo: Samuel Clark

“I’ve been on these streets for at least a good ten or 15 years.

I came to Australia with my parents from Denmark when I was ten years old.

We lived out on a 40-acre property and I would catch the bus in to school.

School was sort of no good for me and I struggled through it. I started school here in Year 4. It was a pretty big thing because I only knew how to speak Danish, I didn’t know how to speak any English.

Home was a very violent place and school slid out as a result. I pretty much used year 11 and 12 to hang on to mates. Sometimes I felt like I didn’t really have a family at home. It’s sort of hard because violence throws a big black blanket over everything.

About half way through year 12, I just had enough. I couldn’t handle the pain, the abuse, and blood every night. I was 17 and I’d had enough so I ran away from home.

I stayed in refuges at first but when I hit 18 I was too old to stay there and got pushed on to Parramatta. All my stuff got stolen from Parramatta. I then came into Sydney and stayed in a hostel at Kings Cross.

I only stayed five to seven weeks here in the city before I graduated from school. That was all that finished out there so everything turned onto the city.

I’ve only been at The Big Issue for a few months now but it is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I should have started when I first hit the streets but I kept putting it off, working with food vans and building a relationship with God.

It’s not all about the money either. I’ve currently got eight magazines but I don’t see them as money, I see it as me going out there. On my pitch at Bathurst and Pitt I find that I meet and make friends there every day. Plenty of people are coming up and buying The Big Issue that haven’t bought it before and some are coming back as return buyers. Once you get a return buyer it just grows part of the big family.

I’m really excited to see how far The Big Issue can go, both the company and my involvement.”

There are 10,000 people around the world who, like Jacob, are striving to improve their lives by selling street publications. The Big Issue is recognising their efforts during International Vendor Week, February 6-10. Visit for more information.

If you or anyone you know could benefit from becoming a vendor for The Big Issue, please contact the Sydney office for more information: 125-127 Little Eveleigh St, Redfern; phone 8332 7200; email

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