A HOMELESS teenager who arrived in the UK to find a better life says he has “given up all hope”.

South African national Jarik Morrison, 19, arrived at Colchester Night Shelter with £3 to his name, nowhere to go and no prospect of employment.

His family, who live in Nelspruit, had saved for three years to fund his travel costs and five-year ancestry visa so Jarik could move to the UK to find work.

After arriving in the country in September, Jarik moved in with his mother in Highwoods, Colchester, but after a month he had to leave.

He claims his mother could no longer afford to keep him.

During the move, Jarik’s passport, and the visa contained within, was lost.

He has endured a torrid time since then, managing a temporary stay with a kind-hearted Good Samaritan before he found himself homeless.

Jarik said: “I went to live with my friend of mine who I managed to go work with for a short period.

“Then I got heavily depressed because of the situation and last Friday tried to take my own life.”

After arriving at the night shelter earlier this week, he was able to contact the South African embassy in London.

He wishes to travel to the embassy so he can begin the process of replacing his passport at a cost of £70.

He said: “Once I have that passport I can actually start looking for a job again, as that is the only problem I have right now.

“I don’t want to let my family at home know of the current situation.

"I told them I’m homeless but I don’t want to ask for money as they already spent so much trying to get me over here.

“There is no hope for me in South Africa, there are no job opportunities for us out there.

“I am heavily depressed, suicidal at most times and stressed.

“I just don’t know what to do anymore I have actually given up.

“Its not a good thing to say that, but I have just given up and I’m willing to just go into a bush and disappear.”

Marina Woodrow, who heads up the night shelter, said: “This doesn’t happen to us very often.

“We can usually help people through the habitual residence testing from the EU, but this is different.

“We can’t get him to the embassy and cannot get him any money in terms of benefits.

“I am hoping someone might be able to help him as we really don’t know what to do.”

The Gazette contacted the South African Embassy in London for comment, but did not receive a response at the time of going to press.

Anyone who can help Jarik is asked to contact the Gazette on 01206 508230.