Istvan, Liverpool city centre

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Tell us a bit about yourself.
In English, my name is Steven. I speak Hungarian and Romanian perfectly but I only speak a little English. I am 44 and I came to the UK in 2016 to look for work because where I am from there is very little money. 

‘I sleep at friends’ houses, on floors or sometimes on the street’

Why do you sell Big Issue North?
I am always looking for work here in the UK and I have done all kinds of jobs. But I have been selling the magazine on and off since 2016 to give me some extra money when there is not the possibility to get other work. I have a good CV and I take this to employers to show them what I can do.

What work have you done in the past?
In Romania I was a telecommunications engineer and a joiner. I have a lot of experience. I can fit doors and windows and work on building sites. But my English is not good enough for me to get that kind of work here yet, so I have worked in factories or as a cleaner. I have also just got pre-settled status from the government, which means I can carry on looking for work and not worry. I would like to be a joiner again someday as I have a lot of good experience in this and it is a good profession. I am hoping to get a new cleaning job soon at Liverpool Football Club. I am a fan. 

Why do you support Liverpool?
I don’t know why I support Liverpool. I just do, ever since I was a kid. It is in my heart. 

Where are you sleeping at the moment?
I sleep at friends’ houses, on floors or sometimes out on the street. I carry a sleeping bag with me and have another sleeping bag at a friend’s house. I carry a big bag with me that has my things in.

Do you like Liverpool and the people here?
Yes, very much. The people are good here but when I am out selling on the streets there are some people who use drugs in the city and they have many problems. I do not use drugs like weed or crack, but I have three official drugs that I do use: tobacco, a little bit of alcohol and rock music!

Who is your favourite rock band?
Metallica. I love the song Nothing Else Matters. I like a good rock ballad. I have always loved rock music since I was a child. I used to listen to Hungarian rock music. With my long hair and my beard I look like I should drive a motorcycle but I have never owned one. I like motorbikes though.

Do you like selling the magazine?
Yes. I ask if people want to buy the magazine and I am thankful when they do, but if they do not or they have no money that is fine also. I always talk to them and I am glad when they talk back to me. 

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