Homeless Man Starts Company, Gets Rich; Now Only Hires Other Homeless People
Drew Goodall made it big after living on the streets and now uses his success to help others
Drew Goodall is a successful businessman, but his success didn't come without a struggle and his story is a true rags-to-riches tale.
Mr. Goodall now lives a comfortable life, earning £250,000 ($315,000) a year as CEO of his Sunshine Shoeshine company.
But it wasn't always this way, as Goodall was once homeless and started his shoeshine service when he was living on the streets of London.
Goodall started his company from nothing and built it up to where it is today, and as a testament that he will never forget his time at rock bottom, his firm almost exclusively employs homeless people and those with special needs.
In his twenties, Drew was on the brink of a promising burgeoning career in film after securing roles in blockbusters such as Guy Richie's Snatch, and About a Boy starring Hugh Grant.
However, after this early success, the work began drying up under the pressure of cruel reviews and Drew began to run out of money.
He made the decision not to go back to his parents’ home as he felt that if he did he would be admitting that his dream was dead.
Unfortunately, the result of this was that he was that when he was evicted from his home, he had nowhere else to go and he was forced onto the streets for six months.
Drew’s early experiences on the streets of London were brutal.
He describes begging for food as a matter of desperate survival, sleeping in cardboard boxes and the violence inflicted on him by drunks and other homeless people.
In a bid to earn some extra money, Drew decided to offer a service to the so often apathetic Londoners who walked past him every day.
He decided to polish shoes and offered the service to London’s affluent business community, all the while carefully evading the police who are known to liberally use hawking laws to penalize homeless people in the most well to do areas of the city.
After six months, one of his regular customers suggested that Drew could set up his tiny shop in the lobby of his office.
This proved to be a formative moment for Drew and he began to make more and more money – enough to get him off the streets.
Drew decided to expand his one-man operation into a real business which he called Sunshine Shoeshine which branched out in office places across the city of London employing dozens of people, almost all of who have experienced homelessness or who have special needs.
Drew also donates a significant proportion of his personal salary to charity, never forgetting the journey of hardship and deprivation he had to endure to get to where he is today.