Vendor moments 2017: “I am just trying to be myself, keep smiling and be grateful for people’s solidarity”

Nick Servos, 36, sells Shedia in Greece

This past year, I met with my girlfriend Lia thanks to a piece of writing of mine that was published in the street paper.

My proudest moment is a bit different. I had an extreme and violent incident one day in my pitch with a guy who was very aggressive. Instead of a bad or violent reaction, I managed to remain cool and this incident was the inspiration to write the text that was published in the street paper, a text which had a great emotional touch for many of the readers.

During the annual concert of the street paper, in September, I met my mother. I had had no communication with my family for the last two years. We talked and cried together and she told me that my family has forgiven me for the bad moments of the past years. It was a very touching moment.

I am in a rehabilitation program for alcoholics. My therapy there in combination with my effort to improve my life, while there is a deep cultural and financial crisis in my country, were the biggest challenges for me.

At the same moment I live in a house that has been offered to me without having to pay any rent, but with the obligation to pay some old remaining debts on the property and fix several things inside. I haven’t quite got there yet, but I am trying hard.

I hope to manage to be more consistent as a vendor, in order to pay the debts of my home.

I look forward to seeing my girlfriend again soon, as she is out of Greece for the moment. I hope she hasn’t forgotten me!

Apostolos Petridis, 35, is a Shedia vendor in Greece

The most memorable moment of the year was my trip to Oslo, Norway and my participation in the Homeless World Cup. Unfortunately, there is not much I feel proud of in 2017.

I did have some happy moments though. For example, the wedding of my best friend! After 16 years of friendship, it was quite a surprise!

My work as a vendor at Shedia is challenging. I used to be jobless for years.

I am just trying to be myself, keep smiling and be grateful for people’s solidarity.

In the new year I am looking forward to health above all. Less unemployment, more smiles and love, with warm hugs.