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The Big Issue In The North

1762 words - 7 pages

This essay will concentrate on the Big Issue in the North (BIIN) which is part of a social business with the solution and support systems to help eradicate social problems and create opportunities for people “who have had a raw deal in life”,(Swithinbank,2001) empowering them to change their lives. The BIIN is a limited company employing staff to write, design and distribute the magazine. Vendors buy the magazine for one pound and sell it for two pounds, making a 100 per-cent profit. Some of this money must be re-invested into buying more magazines; the rest is kept by the vendor. In this way, despite being socially excluded, the vendor has a regular wage. This encourages people to make efforts to develop routine and stability and gives them opportunity to change their lives for the better. This essay will look at how the Big Issue partakes in current legislation; the history of the Big Issue; study the internal structure of the organisation and demonstrate how the Big Issue ensures effectiveness and manages constraints.

Every Government which has come into power has tried to eradicate homelessness, and lower crime rates. The 2002 Homelessness Act defined provisions that local councils, homeless agencies and housing associations have to follow to develop and help eradicate homelessness. Shelter says “it is glad the government has come round to its view that street homelessness is only the most visible form of homelessness” (Walker, 2002). As a result of these acts the BIIN in Liverpool partake in monthly meetings with other agencies such as the Whitechapel, Basement and Mental Health teams.

The Liverpool Homelessness Strategy 2008- 11, sets out how all stakeholders such as the BIIN will focus on prevention of homelessness and how Liverpool will meet the government target of reducing the numbers of people placed in temporary accommodation by taking in the following six priority areas: ensuring that housing advice is available to anyone who is in need of it; preventing homelessness whenever possible; ensuring homelessness assessments are carried out in a timely and consistent way and with other agencies when required; providing appropriate temporary accommodation (with & without support); ensuring there is sufficient permanent accommodation for people who are homeless; monitoring the implementation of the strategy through outcome focused performance measures (Doyle 2008).

During a Rough Sleepers’ meeting, partnership working and good communication between stakeholders was witnessed as well as effective working to ensure government legislation was being addressed.

The inspiration for the Big Issue came from when Gordon Roddick visited New York in 1990 and witnessed individuals selling Street News in a newspaper sold by homeless people in New York (Francis, 2008). On Roddick’s return he enlisted the help of John Bird. They believed the key to solving the homelessness problem was helping people to help themselves. Therefore, he...

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