I’ve talked about homeless – rough sleepers – before, but what I have learned in the last few days has made me angry.

Everyday there is a group of homeless/rough sleepers I see and stop and have a chat with, but now I hear they are being moved on from the area they felt safe in, an area they respected – sure they did leave a bit off clutter – their possessions – while they were off doing what they do during the day.

But, it seems the powers that be have made a decision and have removed these possessions. Thankfully they were collected by the police and one would assume are safe.

Imagine, you get home and all your possessions are gone, you haven’t been burgled, but someone thought it was an “eyesore” – you’d be gutted. Imagine then how the homeless people who went back to their place and saw their things gone. I’d say they would have been devastated.

Yes, some – and I mean some, homeless people are a pain, but in the main those I have met and chatted with are really no different to you and me, they just don’t have a roof over their head – and yes, a job.

We need to be looking out for, and after, the homeless and rough sleepers in our community. Sure there are agencies out there, but if you take time to speak to even only a couple of homeless people you will soon learn that they have had little help – besides some kai, a shower etc from these agencies, they don’t see the advocacy, the need to know and see what these agencies are trying to do for them.

Every Monday Auckland Central Library runs a free movie session, and there’s tea, coffee and biscuits – I’ve seen independent counsellors etc there, but never once seen anyone from any other “agencies”, mmm.

There’s also a homeless reading group, again held at the Auckland Central Library, again from what I have been told there’s no one really from the social agencies at these to talk with people about their needs and what services are available.

What can we do? Shite, that’s a big question – we can stand up for our homeless, yes, OUR, they are ours, they are part of our community. They are, as I said really no different to you and me.

I can see you scratching your head, thinking “well they’re all druggies, alcoholics”. Sure, some are, but not all of them.

Get to know some of the bods on the street and you will begin to learn more about them, their situation and what they are really like.

Make it your goal this coming week to stop and have a chat with at least one homeless/rough sleeper.

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