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Worldwide Vendor Spotlight

 Street News Service 04 October 2019

My name is Jacek Wojtas, I’m 41. I live in Poznan, Poland. Various ups and down in my life have brought me here. I come from Kujawko–pomorskie, where I used to work. At the beginning, I was a baker’s assistant – it was the best period in my life. (508 Words) - By Dagmara Walczyk

Vendor Spotlight_Jack Wojtas

Jacek Wojtas. Photo: Dagmara Walczyk

I worked different shifts, either putting the bread in the oven, or taking the baked bread out. It seemed to me that I had it all. But I think I was too young to appreciate it. Unfortunately, I lost the job, and I have never managed to find one as good. I worked on and off on different things, but I wasn't always honest and my life eventually went in the wrong direction

As a homeless person, I landed at the Barka Foundation and I moved into the community in Chudobczyce. It was there that I learnt about the street paper Gazeta Uliczna. I felt that it was the right thing for me, that it would help me to get myself back together and help me get back into the job market. I went to Poznan and I lived in the centre for homeless people.

It's been three years since then. I'm still a vendor, and I'm doing better and better. I try to go to work every day in the afternoon. My system most of the time involves visiting shops and companies. I do very well in Malta Department Store and Plaza Shopping Centre, but I don't go to places where canvassing is forbidden, or where the employees don't want that.

Gazeta Uliczna gives a chance to everybody. It can be sold by homeless and unemployed people, and I think it's better to work than to beg or claim state benefits. I always tell my customers that although 4 zlotys for a newspaper is a lot, they need to remember that half of this is my earnings.

The street paper gives me a way to interact with people. A man is a social being and shouldn't be lonely. I've always enjoyed being among other people, and I've never understood people who isolate themselves. Thanks to Gazeta Uliczna, I'm among the crowd, I can talk and engage with people.

Currently, I am working on opening a social co-operative with five friends who share my interests and choice of cuisine. We've decided that our co-operative will produce sandwiches. We want them to be tasty, well-made and colourful, with a whole range of flavours and toppings. We can see that there is a demand for it, so we're going to start up in a few months.

My future is not going in the wrong direction anymore - quite the contrary. I feel like things can only get better!

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