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[OCLUG-Tech] linking to files inside debootstrap

In order to run some older software, I set up a debootstrap VM on one of
my servers. Works fine, but...
Now I want to be able to load files into a home directory public_html
area on the VM. However, sftp wants to put this in the home dir of the
"real" user in the real machine.

I see my options as follows:
1) try to set up a link between the VM directory and my outside files. I
tried this via
ln -s /home/realuser/files/  linkname_in_VM_public_html
then chowning so group of real files is 'staff' as per VM files (user
seems to be root in VM files for some strange reason. Maybe I can create
a virtual user of same name as external. Anyway, I'm getting "Forbidden"
when I try to look with a browser.

2) Set up ssh daemon INSIDE the VM using a different port. Is this
doable and still leave sshd going outside? I've no experience in that
task, but would guess it is not too hard.

Suggestions welcome.