A lot of the streeties (street people) have interesting lives and backgrounds. One such guy I met, and developed a certain respect for, was Shane S, who managed to convince Queensland Premier Peter Beattie to come up with $135 million dollars in Homelessness Projects Funding.. Shane sold the Big Issue in Brisbane. He also held a certain infamy among the streeties, for his actions in convincing Premier Beattie on this matter.
The staff at Big Issue told me the story of how, at a Big Issue rally in King George’s Square, outside Brisbane Town Hall, Shane spotted the Queensland Premier, Peter Beattie. Having lived on the streets most of his life, including as a child, Shane decided to do something about it.
He went up to Premier Beattie, and asked what the government intended doing about homelessness in Brisbane and Queensland. After some discussion, Shane, along with a delegation from Big Issue, was invited to the Premier’s office in Parliament House (just down the road from Town Hall).
As a result of these discussions, Premier Beattie decided he would most definitely do something. He allocated an extra $135 million, over what the budget had allocated, specifically for homelessness projects.
I got to like Shane, and developed a certain rapport with him. Sure, he had some problems that prevented him living like the mainstream of society. But he always tried to look after his family and himself.
And to look after others, as shown by his efforts in getting extra funding.
My profile of Shane was published in Big Issue in April 2006