26 May 2016

Marae 'in for the long haul' with homeless

10:41 am on 26 May 2016

A steady stream of people have arrived at an Auckland marae looking for help since it opened its doors to the homeless yesterday.

Te Puea Marae

Te Puea marae in Auckland. Photo: RNZ / Shannon Haunui-Thompson

Last week, Te Puea Marae offered shelter to the homeless and yesterday they launched a support programme, Manaaki Tangata, for those looking for help.

Hurimoana Dennis

Hurimoana Dennis. Photo: RNZ / Shannon Haunui-Thompson

Marae board chair Hurimoana Dennis said they had approached the Ministry of Social development for financial aid but had yet to hear back.

"It isn't cheap but at the same time we are in it for the long haul so we are looking for the resources to keep us going."

Mr Dennis said they wanted to find alternative places for people to stay.

The government has announced a $5000 incentive for the homeless and state house tenants to move from Auckland to more affordable regions.

Mr Dennis told Morning Report one man who came for help last night said he would go wherever there was a home.

"I mean the choice is... sleeping in a car with your kids being cold and getting sick, or going to a new warm house.

"Wherever the homes are, we need to go."

Mr Dennis said he would not be telling people what to do but heading into winter, some people's options were pretty bleak.

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