Limitless Hope vows to continue

By Jonathan Dine

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Kiri and Kevin Swannell speak at a public meeting for supporters of Limitless Hope, at Bledisloe School in Taradale. Photo / Duncan Brown
Kiri and Kevin Swannell speak at a public meeting for supporters of Limitless Hope, at Bledisloe School in Taradale. Photo / Duncan Brown

Despite the hurdles, homeless advocacy group Limitless Hope is not abandoning its vision of an emergency shelter in the Bay.

Kiri and Kevin Swannell hosted a meeting at Bledisloe Primary in Taradale on Saturday to discuss the future of their campaign.

Last year the Swannells raised $65,000 for a homeless shelter but finding land for the two-storey building donated by Property Brokers presented too many blocks.

They struggled to get a quote as to how much it would cost to break apart, move and then re-assemble the building and no property manager would touch it. They returned the building donated to them by Property Brokers.

After plans for the shelter fell through, the couple reassessed their options and said they were moving forward with new plans.

"We are laying the right foundations and no one will stop it going ahead."

Mrs Swannell said the couple have had "behind door battles" with Napier City Council and mayor Bill Dalton over the homeless issue.

Next on the council's agenda was to have Limitless Hope kicked out of Clive Square, where it serves food to the homeless every Monday night, she said.

"Napier City Council do not back us, they have tried to squeeze us out, we have had a lot of battles with Bill [Dalton] behind the scenes, unfortunately."

They also allege the council has accused them of exacerbating the homeless issue in Napier.

Mr Dalton told Hawke's Bay Today that the Napier City Council supported trying to find homes for those without.

"We do not want people living on our streets."

He said council had accepted that Napier had a homeless issue.

The council installed lockable gates at the new Clive Square bus terminal in December after people started complaining about the homeless sleeping there.

Some had since moved to sleeping under the new viewing platform on Marine Parade.

Mr Dalton said the council supported all agencies that were effective in attempting to resolve the issue.

"Any agency that are working to get those unfortunate souls living on the street, off the street, have council's support."

Mr Dalton said the use of council space was often under review.

"No decision has been made whatsoever about pushing Limitless Hope out of Clive Square," he said.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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