Marcus and Nick met in Vietnam on a charity bike ride in 2013, where they helped raise awareness and over $40k for an anti-child trafficking charity called Child Wise. Robbie - a high school mate of Nick’s - was also volunteering abroad in 2013, helping set-up an educational charity in rural Cambodia.
When they returned to Australia, Marcus, a photographer, and Nick, a communications graduate, discovered a joint passion for tackling homelessness. Wanting to make a positive impact on the lives of people living rough in Melbourne, they created the “Homeless of Melbourne” Facebook page.
[Currently tracking at 30k+ followers and counting…]
In December 2014, Australia’s first ever Street Store was held in Melbourne’s Federation Square (an initiative originally started in South Africa). The Street Store was all about “giving”, and was promoted via the Homeless of Melbourne Facebook page. A truckload of donations came in from individuals, organisations and well-known brands. The event was a huge success!
Following the event, Marcus, Nick, and Robbie got together and formed the charity 'Homeless of Melbourne Incorporated' and shortly after, the initiative HoMie - Homeless of Melbourne Incorporated Enterprise - was born.
A HoMie is a person who looks out for others.
HoMie, like the Street Store, had two main goals from the outset; to make donating easy for the public, and to make receiving dignified for those in need. And the guys wanted HoMie to have the same energy as the Street Store too! The vision was there, now it just needed funds.
In April 2015, a month-long Crowd Funding activity commenced. This movement generated a lot of exposure via The Project, ABC and the mX. As a reward for the crowd-funders, HoMie Apparel was born, giving HoMie beanies, t-shirts and long sleeve tops in return for much needed funds.
Success! $15k was generated in a month! In June 2015 a store in Melbourne Central became the home to the first ever HoMie Street Store – The Street Store that Gives. To this day, the HoMie Street Store is a shopping destination that stocks HoMie Apparel, Stussy and Cotton On, and many other brand friends as well.
As for its social impact, the HoMie Street Store aims to eradicate local homelessness through its retail training and employment program, which sees young people trained as retail workers who have previously, or are currently, experiencing homelessness.
Another social service of HoMie’s that renders tangible results are its VIP Shopping Days. The monthly VIP Shopping Days welcome a VIP group of people experiencing homelessness in store for an exclusive, dignified shopping experience. Guests are provided with refreshments, beauty & styling services and five items of brand-new clothing from the HoMie Street Store to call their own.
In August 2015 HoMie Street Store went online, and in December 2015 HoMie for Her was established. HoMie for Her proceeds create HoMie VIP Shopping Days for female victims of domestic violence, and women that have previously or are currently experiencing homelessness.
The HoMie Street Store really is the street store that gives.
Help the guys continue to give, create real change, and do their part to eradicate homelessness. Shop here at the online HoMie Street Store, or in store at our Brunswick Street Store