Vendor moments 2017: “This year was like heaven and hell”

Helmut Ott, 58, is a Kupfermuckn vendor who sells the paper in his hometown of Steyr, in front of a big shopping centre. He has lived in Steyr for 40 years

The best moment of this year was when I got back together with my ex-wife after 10 years of being separated and problems with alcohol, unemployment and homelessness.

I’ve been living with Anna-Maria again since May in a little flat that I got after two years of being homeless thanks to the Kupfermuckn street newspaper. I’m very proud that I have a roof over my head again after such a low point.

This year was like heaven and hell. I was in heaven when my wife came back to me. Hell was being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and a serious lung disease in summer.

Despite my ill health, I was rejected for the pension scheme three times and so I only received very little support as an unemployed person.

Having been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, I can no longer find work and so without Kupfermuckn I would lose my flat and everything that I’ve accomplished again. It was the social workers at the hospital who told me about Kupfermuckn. Due to the home support, I then got temporary accommodation.

The most important things next year will also be my health and my relationship. I require therapy to be able to live with Parkinson’s. I also write lots of articles for Kupfermuckn and the editorial team are like family to me. In Austria, we are fortunate to have peace and prosperity, which I also wish to everyone all over the world.