On any given night in the United States alone, there are 500,000 people who do not have a home. Many spend the night in shelters, but more than a third of them live in cars or outside. A quarter of homeless people are children. Around 57,000 are veterans.
At one point, Drew Goodall was one of those 500,000 unhoused people.
You may recognize him from a couple feature films, like About a Boy and Snatch. Unfortunately, Drew’s work in acting dried up. Eventually the money ran out, and instead of returning home to his family, admitting that he had failed as an actor, he turned to living on the streets.
He’d spend six months of his life living as a homeless man before turning it around. He lives a fairly relaxed life now, earning an income of around £250,000 each year.
But his journey to get to that point was a long and difficult one.
While homeless, Drew begged for food and slept in cardboard boxes. He was assaulted by drunks and other homeless people during this time. To try and earn extra money, Drew decided to offer a service to the Londoners who hardly acknowledged him. He decided to polish their shoes for them.
Drew spent six months polishing shoes on the streets of London before one of his regular customers had an idea. He suggested that Drew should set up shop in the lobby of his office. Getting him off the streets and into an actual office building allowed him to make even more money and provided him refuge from law enforcement, who would often abuse London’s strict laws regarding homelessness to antagonize the homeless.
It was there that his business, Sunshine Shoeshine was born. Over time, he was able to expand from a one-man operation into an actual business with multiple employees. Today, Drew employes dozens of people, all of whom have special needs, are homeless, or have experienced homelessness at some time or another.
To give back to the community, Drew donates a large portion of his salary to charities.
Drew never forgot his time on the streets and is dedicated to helping others who are in the position that he was once in.