Drew Goodall didn’t always live the life of a homeless man crashing on the street. He was in his mid-twenties when his acting career began to fail. He didn’t get the roles he wanted, and then none at all.
The London-based CEO was a rising star at the time, but things quickly went downhill. He couldn’t afford to keep a roof over his head. And just when it seemed it couldn’t get any worse, he was forced to take to the streets. Fast forward many years later and he is came back of his former shoes. He is now CEO of Sunshine Shoeshine, a shoe shine company that makes £250,000 a year and is employed by homeless people. His goal is to get as many people out of the dark hole as possible.
We rise by lifting others
Speaking to the BBC, Drew spoke about the guy who walked past him every day to help him get back on the floor and get back on his feet. Drew, who claims to have been homeless since he was 16, suffered in the street, endured the bite of the London cold and was plagued by violent crawling. But luck shone through for him when one of his regulars offered him a job in his office lobby.
From grass to grace
After many years of hard work, dedication and determination, Drew was able to transform Sunshine Shoeshine into a successful business. He now has several locations in London and many employees on his payroll. Drew has earned a reasonable amount of money and is able to get off the streets. He was also able to stop hiding from the police who had been working against him.
The most important thing about Drew’s story is that he only hired homeless and disadvantaged people to work for him. He offers a helping hand to others who suffer the same terrible fate, a chance to improve their lives and find meaning. Drew will never forget where he came from and the horrors he experienced.
One of Drews’ beneficiaries, Alan, who suffers from poor mental health and vision, said the job was a saving grace for him. The job made sense to him, he said. It has given him confidence, it has made him feel like a human being again. “Sunshine has given me a work history. They have shown me the articulated skills that employers want to see when they see a resume. By having a job with a work history, it gives me a bit of a future that I didn’t have before”. It’s amazing how Alan’s life was turn around since he was hired. The world now is a better place for him.
Drew doesn’t accuse others of being quick to judge homeless people. That’s unfair, that’s Drew’s philosophy. Drew lives a comfortable and happy life, and he finds fulfillment in the fact that he can help others in which condition he lived a years ago.