Peter | Ōrewa

“I used to live in South Auckland, but now I live all over the place. I’m actually homeless. My friend. About a month ago I had nowhere to stay, just before Christmas. I rang up a friend, and we live in her van. It’s just circumstances.

We go up and down trying to look for a place, but we stay at the beaches, to be safe, and we stay around where we know it’s safe for us, and if people get noisy, we move. Because we’re old, and we don’t want to get hurt, and we meet a lot of people on our way on many travels. I’ll say a lot of tourists. Germans, English, and it’s really nice to talk to them.

I’ll say just about three weeks ago my friend Marleen actually gave me a boost when I had nowhere to go. I just rang her up and she said, okay I’m there. Half an hour later she showed up, and it was a blessing, and also the people at the dinners, like the churches, and they do the Christmas dinners. They gave me a food parcel. Yeah, that was really cool. So, I got what I wanted out of it, and somebody else came in their van. They were hungry, and we said, well we got a food parcel, we can share it with you, and if they didn’t need it, we said, pass it onto somebody else. You can only be positive. 

I actually was born and raised in South Auckland. We didn’t have much. It was hard times. The most important thing in life right now, will be me. My kids have all grown up and they’re alright. I make sure they’re alright, but at the moment it’s just got to be me. And meeting other people, and just saying hi to them. All we want is just understanding. That’s all. I don’t want to be like this, but yeah, thank you. 

At the moment I’m homeless. I live in a van with a female friend of mine. She’s my old school mate from art class. She just happened to be there when I needed her, but she’s always there when I need her. It’s just a situation that happened about a month ago. You help somebody out and then they kick you in the guts. So, I’ve learned now it’s about me now, but I still give. I give to the homeless even if I’ve got nothing. If I’ve got fruit and that, I say, at least I’ve got it. If you want something to eat, I’ll give it to them.

I’ve been to places where the Government won’t even step in to help us. There’s a place in Manurewa that’s opened its doors for the homeless, for anybody, and they feed you for lunch and for dinner, and they’re helping out the community. It’s a drop-in centre, and there’s a place over here at Christmas Day, opened up their doors for anybody for a feed, and another place up there, and that’s really important, because if you’ve got nothing, I think just having a friend is more important, too.”

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