Large fam­ily found sleep­ing rough

Manukau Courier - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - CHRIS HARROWELL

A home­less fam­ily-of-eight are among those sleep­ing rough on the streets of South Auck­land.

The cou­ple and their six chil­dren were re­cently found ly­ing in the en­try of the Ma­nurewa Cit­i­zens Ad­vice Bureau by its board chair­man Gordon Myer when he ar­rived for work two morn­ings in a row.

‘‘They lay mat­ting in the area and set their beds up in the foyer,’’ he says. ’’There’s an­other group of peo­ple who sleep around the back. There’s about seven or eight of them.’’

Myer says he had a brief con­ver­sa­tion with the fam­ily, the youngest of whom ap­peared to be teenagers, he says.

‘‘They had three su­per­mar­ket trol­leys, one of which had food in it. They were po­lite and obliging and they swept up the place and left it neat and tidy. It’s very un­for­tu­nate they’ve been placed in that sit­u­a­tion.’’

The bureau ex­pe­ri­enced a sim­i­lar, but smellier, prob­lem in early 2016. Its staff would find dirty blan­kets and pud­dles of urine left be­hind in the en­trance each morn­ing.

On one oc­ca­sion the area was lit­tered with cig­a­rette butts and a lighter, empty al­co­hol cans, cloth­ing, and small plas­tic bags some­times as­so­ci­ated with drug use.

Bureau staff have of­fered help and ad­vice to home­less peo­ple they’ve found sleep­ing near their premises.

Gordon Myer says some of the home­less peo­ple who slept in the Ma­nurewa Cit­i­zens Ad­vice Bureau en­trance in 2016 left be­hind a smelly mess.

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