Homeless Man Starts Company, Becomes Rich And Hires Only Other Homeless People

From a rising star to a homeless man wandering the streets of London, today, he’s a totally different person.

Even though today he’s a successful CEO of a shoe-shining company, not long ago, he was a homeless having a hard time on the London streets.

Drew Goodall was an aspiring theater actor who also appeared in movies alongside Hugh Grant and Brad Pitt; however, because of the bad reviews, his confidence was destroyed and somehow he ended up on the streets.

He lost his home, his work, and had nothing but the streets.

Begging for Food & Getting Attacked

In 2001, around six months, Goodall was a homeless man on the street and had to beg for food.

Often times, he would get attacked by drunks. However, today, at the age of 43, he’s living his best life thanks to a commuter who he spoke to regularly when he was living on the streets.

This man advised Goodall to try shoe-shining to earn his living.

And, Goodall listened to him-he used some of the money collected from begging to purchase a brush and polish and went into the financial district of London and started to shine shoes of passersby.

His Shoe-Shining Business Grew

However, at the beginning, he needed to keep an eye out for authorities as he had no license to trade on the streets. After 6 months, one of his regular customers suggested he comes and shines shoes in the office where he worked.

From then on, his business grew further and he also began shining shoes in other banks and financial institutions. Back in 2012, he opened up his company, Sunshine Shoeshine to help people with disadvantage or who were also homeless like he once was by employing them.

The Company Today Has Several Employees

Today, Goodall employs 8 people either homeless or disadvantaged as shoe shiners and work in more than 50 businesses per week.

And, he also gives a proportion of their annual turnover of around $330,000 to charities.

Goodall says that ‘it came organically. I didn’t set up to, in my own way, try to change the world’.

He knows that there’s no magic button to solve homelessness and it’s something that will always exist. However, giving someone your time, talking to them, goes a long way to procuring a solution.

He’s helped 40 people to change their lives as of 2012 and has also given the opportunity to companies in which his shoe shiners work to choose a charity to give them 5 percent of the profits.

Goodall has a degree in acting before he appeared in London’s West End theaters, as well as in the crime thriller Snatch and the comedy drama About a Boy. However, the harsh theater reviews seriously damaged his confidence and he decided to put an end to his acting career.

Sources:

REUTERS

BBC

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