Vendor moments 2017: “People’s understanding surprises me every day”

Carlos, 49, sells CAIS near the Avenida da Liberdade in Lisbon, Portugal

This year, I kept working in CAIS with all my sincerity and transparency, always smiling to the customers. It was the best part of 2017 and what I have liked to do since 1998.

Life has been very hard to me since I was 14 years old and I am not stable yet… In this year 2017, I am still fighting for better conditions, but I am proud of myself because I have gotten more work opportunities. I do not give up!

People’s understanding surprises me every day. It is so good to see how they touch us with a simple smile or an act of kindness… they are always available for whatever it takes. Despite difficulties all over the world people show us compassion and it makes me stronger and motivated to still doing what I am do.

My biggest challenge is to get a house to live. Currently, I am living in a hostel, which is increasingly expensive. Time goes by and nothing has changed. I really need a house, otherwise I can inevitably go back to the street and become a homeless again. However, I still have not given up hope to have a decent and honest life.

Unfortunately, I could not find a house yet.

I hope that 2018 brings me the house that I need so much, because I am not afraid of work, I do not like being stopped. I want to be useful to society.