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The House­athon on Satur­day night proved to be a more pro­found, 24-hour med­i­ta­tion on home­less­ness than I ex­pected.

I gained a new re­spect for any­one who does that ev­ery night and chooses to carry on liv­ing.

Even on a fine spring night, the wind was cold enough to claw through my lay­ers of wool, my sleep­ing bag and my du­vet.

Un­der the elec­tric lights in an ur­ban space, I kept wak­ing, won­der­ing what that noise was, un­til I got so des­per­ate for sleep I stopped car­ing.

About 20 peo­ple slept rough for the night to raise money for Wai­heke Community Hous­ing Trust.

We talked a lot about how it must feel for women on the street to live among men who con­stantly pose a threat, and to be pow­er­less, de­pen­dent on oth­ers for sur­vival.

Af­ter the rough night, I was re­lieved to get back to the shoe box cot­tage I rent. It is a palace com­pared to a card­board box.

Hous­ing prob­lems on Wai­heke are al­ready se­vere, so here’s hop­ing the trust gets enough sup­port to make a dif­fer­ence.

- Rose.

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