Change is in your pocket

The Big Issue is a socially responsible non-profit organisation that enables willing unemployed and marginalised adults to take responsibility for their own lives through a developmental employment programme.
PITCH:  York Road, Green Point
AGE:  47

SHOOTING FROM THE HIP

What do you like most about being back in Cape Town?
The people. I think that the people in Cape Town are what makes Cape Town most attractive.

How do you recover after a bad day at the pitch?
After a bad day at the pitch I usually pray. I am a Christian. I gave my life to Jesus 14 years ago. My faith carries me through the bad days.

Charles Hare

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Charles Hare is no stranger to The Big Issue. He first joined the organisation 14 years ago. He has been a jack-of-all-trades, working as a handyman at a hotel and then a fisherman as well as doing odd jobs here and there. He came back to The Big Issue in October last year to start afresh and get his life moving in a positive direction.

“I first joined The Big Issue about 14 years ago. I had been looking for a hand up because I had been through a bad period in my life. Shortly after joining, I decided to take a trip to PE and ended up cycling the whole way there.

I got a job as a fisherman and made PE my home until I moved back to Cape Town in October last year.

My life hasn’t been easy. I was in a very dark place until I found the light, or better yet, the light found me. My faith has been carrying me through and I am determined to make positive and lasting changes in my life.

Selling the magazine has never been a challenge for me. I enjoy getting to know people and I am a natural communicator. I think it comes down to sales skills and just being a genuine, honest person. The price of the magazine is the only thing that might deter people from buying, but other than that it goes well for me at my pitch.

Each day I set a goal for myself, I try to make at least R200 before going home in the afternoon. There’s not really much competition for me at the pitch and my customers have been really great in supporting me. I have had to build a new customer base as I have been gone for quite some time but seeing the customers’ friendly faces has made it a pleasure for me.

At the moment I am working toward my goal of getting into my own place and being financially independent. I am giving myself a few months to get there. I am currently staying at a shelter in town called The Carpenter’s Shop.

I would like to thank all of the customers for their continued support. I am working hard to achieve my goal. For my fellow vendors that might be reading my story, I’d like you to know that we all fall on hard times. It’s not the fall that defines you but how quickly you can get up.”

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