Australia offers Big Issue women vendors a safe work environment

The Australian government has pumped in $1.2m into the Big Issue magazine to provide a "safe" office

The government will help these homeless women send subscription copies of The Big Issue from mail centres in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide. They will be employed as dispatch assistants and would collate, sort and insert the magazines into the subscription bags.

The weekly street magazine, published in eight countries, is written by professional journalists and sold by homeless individuals. One of UK's leading social businesses, the biweekly helps homeless people earn a living by selling the publication.

Natalie Susman, who heads the women's subscription enterprise, said the magazine has found that many homeless women did not like the sales pressure or the security risk of selling on the streets. She said these women would not directly sell the magazines but ask companies and institutions to subscribe to the magazine.