Due to the success of his Sunshine Shoeshine company, Drew Goodall easily takes home over £250,000 every year. What’s remarkable is that Drew used to be homeless.
Drew may live an easy and comfortable life these days but things weren’t always so rosy for him.
Drew used to be a promising actor and landed roles in huge films such as Snatch and About a Boy, starring Hugh Grant.
However, after the early successes that Drew experienced, the acting work started to dry up and become less often due to some harsh reviews. If he couldn’t work, he couldn’t afford to live. He had the option to return to his family home but felt that if he did he would be admitting that his dream was no longer alive.
As a result of his failed acting career, he was evicted from his house with no where to go. He turned to the streets and lived rough for 6 months.
Drew describes a harrowing account of his earliest experiences on the streets of London. He describes it as being “brutal,” desperately begging for food to survive, sleeping in old, wet, cardboard boxes and the constant bullying and violence inflicted others on the street and drunks.
It clicked one day for Drew. He’d had enough and in a last ditch bid to earn some extra cash, he decided to offer a shoe polishing service to the Londoners who strolled past him each and every day.
He polished shoes better than anyone else and began offering his services to London’s affluent business executives, while trying carefully to evade the authorities who are known to use ridiculous laws to penalize homeless people in the city.
Drew was given an incredible offer after six months of shining shoes. A regular customer of his suggested that Drew could set up his shoe service shop in the lobby at the bottom of his office. This was the propellant Drew needed and he began to make a lot more money and eventually find a way off the streets.
Drew then made an even bigger move. He needed to expand and decided to turn his one man operation into a real business. Drew started Sunshine Shoeshine and branched out across offices all over London employing homeless people or people who have special needs.
“It came organically. I didn’t set up to, in my own way, try to change the world. There is no magic button for homelessness. It’s something that will always be there … (but) just giving someone some time, talking to them, that goes a long way to finding a solution to homelessness,”
Drew employs a team of eight people at time of print and estimates an annual turnover of almost $330,000. In addition to hiring the needy, Goodall also gives a significant portion of his earnings to charity never forgetting the journey he had to endure to find himself where he is today.
“To date we have given in excess of 20,000 pounds ($26,000),”