Couple off to feed Auckland homeless

By Jonathan Dine

13 comments
Kiri and Kevin Swannell, of Limitless Hope, will forge ahead despite a setback in their quest for an emergency shelter. They are pictured with their new food caravan, at home in Taradale. Photo / Warren Buckland
Kiri and Kevin Swannell, of Limitless Hope, will forge ahead despite a setback in their quest for an emergency shelter. They are pictured with their new food caravan, at home in Taradale. Photo / Warren Buckland

The Limitless Hope caravan is hitting the road.

Founders of the homeless advocacy group, Kiri and Kevin Swannell, will today head to the City of Sails, taking a mountain of supplies with them.

The couple are going to feed people on the streets beside former Bay man Owen John Pomana.

Kevin Swannell said their campaign is all about having "less huis and more doeys".

"We aren't politicians, we don't want to sit and talk about solutions, we just want to get out there and connect with the people."

He said Mr Pomana takes a restorative approach to homelessness.

Mr Pomana is an ex-criminal turned Christian evangelist.

"He's out there connecting with people, co-ordinates with his contacts and supports them back into the workforce."

Mr Swannell said they will also draw comparisons of homeless numbers in the country's biggest city.

"We will be able to see a culture change from how it was to how it is and compare that with the numbers back home."

Mr Swannell said Auckland showed the extreme side of homelessness.

"This is a huge opportunity to just show people they are loved in a practical way," he said.

The couple will focus on the intervention and prevention side of the issue by helping those struggling to meet their immediate needs: "This means plenty of food."

After an abundance of beef was donated at Christmas time, the Swannells had it made into mince. Clothes, petrol and vouchers have also been donated.

Mr Swannell said despite last year's setbacks, they were still pushing forward with plans for an emergency homeless shelter in Hawke's Bay.

"We still get calls daily from people who have slipped through the system, there are still a lot of gaps."

A fundraising campaign saw the Swannells raise $65,000 for a homeless shelter but finding land for the two-storey building donated by Property Brokers presented too many road blocks.

They struggled to get a quote on the cost to break apart, move and then re-assemble the building, and no property manager would touch it.

Mr Swannell said the money was still earmarked for an emergency shelter. "We are not getting distracted, we are assessing a few options."

Another goal is to set up a community cafe with a commercial kitchen with $70,000 worth of equipment donated by Panpac.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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