Specialist Homelessness Services

About Us

Provides people who are marginalised or disadvantaged with the opportunity to earn an income and be actively included in society.

Vendors include people experiencing homelessness, mental illness, long-term unemployment, intellectual or physical disability or social isolation.

Vendors run their own business selling The Big Issue magazine in public places around Canberra, keeping half the proceeds from every magazine sold.

About The Big Issue

We are an independent, not-for-profit organisation dedicated to supporting and creating job opportunities for homeless, marginalised and disadvantaged people. Simply put, we help people help themselves.

What we do

We run social enterprises to create employment for people who are unable to access mainstream jobs. These enterprises operate much like traditional businesses, except all revenue is put back into the enterprises for the benefit of the individuals involved and broader community.

Our social enterprises include The Big Issue magazine, the Women's Subscription Enterprise and The Big Issue Classroom. We also run the Community Street Soccer ProgramThe Big Idea and Homes for Homes.

Our social enterprises not only provide opportunities for people to earn an income, but importantly, to build confidence and their capacity to help themselves.The people we help come from a range of backgrounds including mental illness, homelessness, long-term unemployment, intellectual and physical disability and drug and alcohol dependency.


The Big Issue magazine concept came to Australia in 1993 when a group of prominent Australians came together to explore solutions to help address Australia’s increasing homeless population. They proposed a model based on the UK’s successful Big Issue street magazine model. The first magazine was launched in Australia on the steps of Melbourne’s Flinders Street Station on June 16, 1996.

Quick Facts About The Region

Woden Community Service is located in the suburbs of Phillip and Woden Valley, the council of Canberra and the federal electorate of Canberra.