Art & Design
Posted by Hilary Bush
15. Jul, 2015
“Take a sample of one hundred young Melbournians – I can guarantee you 90 of them wouldn’t even think to stop and talk to a homeless person. What made you do it?”
This is the question I pose to HoMie Co-Founder Marcus Crook. The answer is simple. “They’re normal people… Why would you not stop to talk to someone who says hello?”
Marcus is 27, with a social conscience that outdoes his already impressive beard. Along with mates Nick Pearce and Robbie Gillies, Marcus has taken his passion for helping others less fortunate to a whole other level. These three young Victorians (Nick is 24 and Robbie is just 21) have launched a store right in the heart of our CBD at Melbourne Central, aimed at providing for those doing it rough.
The social enterprise idea is simple – for every allocated dollar amount spent, an item of clothing will be donated to a charity that provides for the homeless. For example, the boys of HoMie have invited The Big Issue vendors to come by the store this week to collect items of clothing should they wish. The idea will be to build connections with local charities so that the clothing can be distributed accordingly and fairly.
Not only will HoMie provide items of clothing to the homeless of Melbourne, but the urban, inviting space on Level 2 will also offer grooming services and workshops designed to increase employability for the homeless people in our city. The store was outfitted entirely through donations – and although minimalist – is modern, clean and creative.
So far customers are able to purchase clothing from brands such as Stussy and Cotton On, as well as HoMie’s own branded merchandise. The branding is sleek and modern, and aimed at both men and women. Tees start at $40, whilst smaller items such as beanies can also be purchased for around $10.
HoMie originated from discussions between Nick and Marcus when they met on an anti-child trafficking cycling venture through Vietnam a couple of years ago. What eventuated was the “Homeless of Melbourne” Facebook page, sharing stories of homelessness on our streets, and soon after, HoMie was born.
The launch of HoMie is filled with an incredibly diverse crowd – but one thing is consistent – the palpable energy and commitment that every person present possesses, each individual feeling like they are truly doing their small part towards creating a better future for our community.
The boys have invited one of the people who inspired HoMie to the launch – Richard has been on the streets for six months, and is painting incredible pictures throughout the night. Many invitees stop to talk to him and marvel at his works, and I am lucky to spend time hearing his story as his acrylics come alive on the parchment. People just like Richard are the very people those fortunate enough to help, need to meet. HoMie has provided a space in which to do that.
HoMie is open 10am until 7pm (9pm on Thursdays and Fridays), and currently popping up for 3 months. Any and all are welcome – shopping addicts and philanthropists alike. Being a HoMie has never been cooler.
Shop 247, Level 2, Melbourne Central Shopping Centre
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