Extraordinary People

Homeless man turns life around with £250k a year shoe business

A man has turned his life around after living on the streets, and is trying to do the same for other homeless people.

A man has turned his life around after living on the streets, and is trying to do the same for other homeless people. 

Drew Goodall, 45, is now a successful CEO of a shoe shining company and enjoys an annual turnover of £250,000 – but his situation hasn’t always been so positive.

In fact, life took a turn for the worse in 2001 when Drew lost his home, his job, and found himself begging for food on the streets.

Before becoming homeless, Drew was an aspiring theatre actor and had secured minor roles in hit movies such as Snatch and About A Boy.

However, a poor review of one of his theatre performances damaged his confidence and along with other issues, Drew ended up on the streets.

“It just destroyed my confidence. I was so stressed about doing the show, I just gave up, I wasn’t having fun any more,” Drew explained.

But fast forward almost ten years later, and Drew is living his best life thanks to a commuter who took the time to talk to him. They encouraged Drew to start shining shoes to try and earn some money, and he did just that. 

Consequently, Drew went on to establish his business Sunshine Shoeshine.

The company, a shoe cleaning social enterprise, now boasts a whole host of customers. They employ disadvantaged people, giving exceptional office shoeshines to people at prestigious global banks to those at local boutique law firms.

Speaking to Uspire, Drew said: “We still have 8 Sunshiners [during lockdown], although none are working at present for obvious reasons.

“We employ those with mental special needs and ex homeless people, who have accommodation but are struggling to integrate back onto the work ladder.”

He also revealed they give regular donations to charities.

For more info, visit Sunshine Shoeshine.

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