Street view: Former homeless man leads ’invisible Zagreb’ tour－街頭景象：前街友導覽「看不見的札格雷布」之旅
Alcoholics, vagrants, nobodies － Mile Mrvalj, spent more than three years on the streets himself, rattles off common prejudices against Zagreb’s "invisible" homeless community as he leads a tour around sites that usually go unnoticed in the Croatian capital.
Mrvalj starts a tour with local high school students at the King Tomislav Square park. "The homeless sleeping on the grass would be fined, so they often sleep in abandoned buildings nearby," he said.
The tour’s second stop － Zagreb’s main railway station － is a place where many homeless people go to warm up in the winter, though only for 30 minutes due to video surveillance and fear of police.
58-year-old Mrvalj was left bankrupt in 2009 in Bosnia, ending up on the street of Zagreb. After obtaining a Croatian ID card four years ago, he managed to secure health care and a room to live in.
Now he runs an association to help the homeless and guides city tours to raise awareness and to correct misunderstandings.