Monkey Man who lost everything launches shop from his tent opposite Lidl

A homeless man who lives in a tent has used his makeshift house to start a business where he trades and sells junk he finds around the streets.

Polish national Maciej Flank, nicknamed 'Monkey Man' after his addiction to the stimulant monkey dust, has set up camp on disused land in the Burslem area of Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire.

He barters with passers-by to flog everything from garden chairs, T-shirts, children's fancy dress outfits to shoes and toys to fund his drug habit, and also to buy food.

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The 53-year-old says his better stock comes via donations from people who know him or a rubbish container behind a string of local businesses.

He told StokeonTrentLive: “I live a lot more humbly now, I don’t need the things I used to have. £20 or a cooked meal might mean nothing to most people but it means a lot to me.

"Sometimes people give me designer items and people get them for next to nothing because I don’t know the brands.

“I’m just happy to get by and I’m lucky that I have friends who live nearby who bring me food. It’s nice to know that people genuinely like me for me, because I don’t have much to offer them, so it’s good to know that their love for me isn’t superficial and I’m not being used for anything.

Before moving to the empty patch of land in Federation Road, Magic was swapping things out of his tent in the Dougie Mac car park from Saturday, May 1.

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By night, he would sleep in the footwell of Manchester Courts, according to nearby residents. He then moved to his new patch opposite Lidl.

While Magic has been offered help from homeless charities, at the moment he prefers his itinerant lifestyle which he says frees him from the stresses of modern-day life.

He said: "I quite like being free and being connected with nature. It’s nice to not have the stress of everyday life."

He previously ran a recording studio in in Market Street, Longton, before falling on hard times and splitting up with his partner of 14 years.

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