Vaughn | Manurewa

I can’t stand homeless people, in the sort of sense that the homeless problem around Auckland at the moment is ridiculous, and it doesn’t seem like anyone’s out there trying to do anything.

I sit with the homeless people. I talk with them. I try to get an understanding of their life story, that sort of thing. Find out who they are. I can’t offer much help, but even sitting down with someone could mean the world to them.

I spent a bit of time just trying to see life through their eyes, as much as possible. So me and a few people I know, we always go out, try to give them food and stuff like that. It’s just a huge problem around Auckland. That’s something I do, something that surprises people, I guess.

Oh, people might be surprised, because in my friend group, I’m a bit of a hard nut, if you know what I mean. Like, I’m in the death metal scene. So, a lot of people I surround myself with, don’t always come off as the nicest sort of people. So I can’t imagine, you know, covered in tattoos and all that sort of thing, most people don’t expect those people to care about people, but in reality we’re all just a person. You know?

I had a bit of a round upbringing. I moved around a lot. Ah, mostly the South Island, and moved around a whole heap of different families, didn’t really stick in one place for too long. So I guess from that, the value about myself I got was to respect the time you have with people. Like, you know, no-one’s here forever, that you could be here one day, and on the different side of the country the next. So, you never really know what’s going to happen. You’ve got to really take every second as it comes.

Everyone has their own story, and their own background. You never know if these people, they could be the most wonderful, kindest people in, on the whole earth, and just sort of, they’ve fallen into something, whether it be drugs, whether something’s just gone wrong, their wife left them and they got fired from their job, and they couldn’t recover from that. You know?  You’ve got to find these things out about a person, because most people would just walk by going, oh that person just is nothing. You know?  They’re homeless, they’re a scumbag. But the majority of the time, it’s not that. They’ve just fallen in life and haven’t been able to get back up, so they need someone to sit with them and tell them that they’re not useless, and that they’re actually worth something, and even saying that to a person can make them get up the next morning and go, well I’ve got to do something, I’m worth something. You know?”

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