I want to pay the favour forward - former homeless man

2015-09-18 14:35
Daniel Kruger (Photo supplied)

Daniel Kruger (Photo supplied)

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Durban - Daniel Kruger looked to heroin for an escape after losing everyone he had ever loved.

He never thought the addictive drug would ruin his life. But it did. Now he is more determined than ever to get his life together - and keep it that way - after a random stranger offered him a fresh start.

And he had another motivation to finding a job - he wants to pay it forward.

Released from jail this year after serving two years for a drug charge, the streets of Durban were the 25-year-old’s home for three months.

It was anyone’s guess how long he may have stayed there had it not been for local businesswoman Storm Steen.

She stopped at a traffic light on her motorbike a few weeks ago and he said it was the first time he had seen a lady on a bike.

They struck up a friendship and she offered a hand up.

Keeping clean

She organised a place to stay for a few months and invested in the car-washing venture he had dreamed of setting up.

Kruger shared his delight at having a bachelor flat and small home comforts.

“When you start on the streets, you are lucky if you get a shower once a week. Otherwise you just take a swim in the sea,” he told News24 minutes after arriving home.

“It feels awesome to wake up and have a shower. People who know me say I am looking good!”

He was now looking for a permanent job so he could pay the favour forward.

“That chain [of assistance] will eventually help a lot of people off the street.”

“Storm is an awesome lady. She did so much for me and I don’t know how ever in my life I am going to repay her.”

When tragedy struck

Kruger, who grew up in Klerksdorp, said he had everything he ever wanted before his parents died in 2002.

His dad died in a mining accident when he was 12 and his mother was killed in a car accident six months later.

The bank reclaimed their house.

Kruger’s uncle paid for his school fees and gave him a back room to live in.

“I looked after myself and used to guard cars in the afternoons or wash windows.

“Welfare wanted to take me but I was under the impression that children’s homes were bad and I ran away. Today I wished that I went to a children’s home,” he said with a sigh.

Kruger turned to heroin after he lost his high school sweetheart when she was eight months pregnant with their child.

Her uterus burst and she died along with their baby girl during an emergency C-section.

Making amends

The lanky youngster got clean in jail and spent his time learning languages.

With pride in his voice, he said he could read, write and speak English, Afrikaans, Sotho, Zulu, Tswana and Xhosa.

One of his goals was to get his matric certificate as he only completed Grade 11.

Important to him was making amends with those he hurt in the past because of his drug use.

“I called the people I knew I did wrong to and apologised. They were quite astonished that I would go to the effort to contact them.

“They all understand though, because they know people who have been through the same thing.”

Read more on:    durban  |  good news

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