First homeless, now shoeless

Ettienne Koch sitting on the pavement he calls home.
Ettienne Koch sitting on the pavement he calls home.

Ettienne Koch, 31, has been living on the streets since he was 22 and once again, he has been stolen from.

The incident took place in the early hours of Monday, 23 February.

Koch was spotted in Greenhills with make-shift fluffy blue shoes made from torn pieces of the blanket he sleeps under because his shoes were stolen.

He explained, “I was sleeping and usually when I sleep, I put my shoes next to me but when I woke up, they were gone and the bag I travel with was laying open.”

Koch also opened up to the Herald about life on the streets.

I sleep around the Greenhills circle. I’ve been lving on the streets a long time. It all happened when I was younger and I had a fight with my mother then she threw me out,” he said.

Koch, however, stays positive. He tells of how the streets can be dangerous but said it can also be exciting.

“I really enjoy it, it’s another kind of life. Sometimes I go to Sandton and Rivonia. I love the streets on that side of the world,” he added.

Koch has not always been so positive as he tried to kill himself a few years back.

“Living on the street brings negativity out in you. At that time, I was in a bad space. I’ve had jobs here and there and lately I just beg for money. I would like to find decent work, though. I’ve been looking but I haven’t been very successful.”

With the coming winter, Koch is worried about the cold as he said this winter looks as though it’s going to be extremely cold.

Just looking from last year, this winter looks like it’s going to be a bad one,” Koch explained.

He added that he has been trying to make a plan to get shelter for winter. For now, Koch is pleading to the community for a pair of shoes and if they have extra clothes and blankets at home.

All people who are interested in helping Koch can drop off their donations at the Herald‘s offices.

The make-shift shoes Koch made from his blanket.

The make-shift shoes Koch made from his blanket.

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Roxy de Villiers

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