Tell us about yourself and your dog.
I’m Polish, and 61 years old. My dog’s name is Fatagos. He is six years old. Fatagos flew from Australia. He has a passport. His mother was a Polish collie and his father was an Australian dingo. He was my daughter’s dog but she died of cancer. I made her a promise that I would look after her dog and that he would be happy.
How long have you sold Big Issue North for?
I have sold the magazine in Hull for a month, but I have sold it for more than a year in both Liverpool and Manchester before this.
What do you make of Hull?
I am still learning about the city. I don’t know it very well at all at the moment.
Where are you living?
I have been street homeless for the last month, since coming to Hull. I am sleeping in a tent. But life is life. Sometimes you can be up and then tomorrow you can be down. Things can change. You don’t know what the future holds.
How did you end up homeless?
I have problems. Many problems. Last year I had a heart operation. I have a big scar on my chest. I had a bypass. I was out of work when I had the operation and my girlfriend said “you have no money” and she told me to go. I came to Hull and it is good that I can sell Big Issue North here. That helps me make some money. It’s a small amount of money, but it’s my money.
What are your hopes for the future?
I have a plan for the next three months and things will get better, I think. I am trying to claim some benefits and hopefully I will get into a hostel and then some social housing.
What work have you done in the past?
I was working for five and a half years in Argos warehouse and before that I worked in recycling and in a bakery in Manchester.
What makes you happy?
I live! That is it. I smile. Life must be happy, not stressful.
What does your dog mean to you?
Fatagos is my best friend. He is a very good dog and he is very clever. He is very well trained and very good at catching balls. When we lived in a house he used to bring my clothes and shoes to me when I asked him to. I would say “where is the key?” and he would look in the door and if it wasn’t there he would look around the house and find it for me.
Do you miss Poland?
No. I wouldn’t go back to Poland. I don’t have family there.
Do you have any family at all?
I have two grandsons. They are twins, and they live with my daughter’s husband in London. They are only 13. I do not tell them that I am homeless. I hide it from them. They are children and they should not worry about their grandfather. These are my problems and my grandchildren must be happy and not worry.
Do you have a message for your customers?
Hello Hull! Thank you very much for buying the magazine from me.