Marae will 'keep going until we can't'

Te Puea Marae's Kaanga Skipper and Hurimoana Dennis, are taking in homeless people at their Mangere Bridge Marae. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Te Puea Marae's Kaanga Skipper and Hurimoana Dennis, are taking in homeless people at their Mangere Bridge Marae. Photo / Brett Phibbs

A south Auckland marae that opened its doors to homeless families on Wednesday will "keep going until we can't keep going," a spokesman says.

This weekend, nine people will sleep at Te Puea Memorial Marae, including three children.

And according to spokesman Hurimoana Dennis, many of them have got homes lined up to move into on Monday.

"Some people have already been placed and some still waiting to be placed," Mr Dennis said.

"The majority of them have homes to go to on Monday."

He said whanau were from a variety of different backgrounds and circumstances and were happy to be helped back onto their feet and into warmer living arrangements.

Mr Dennis told the Herald tonight that everyone was very happy, and when dinner came out there was a round of applause.

"They're all really good people. I sat down with all the men tonight - they have good hearts, they've just fallen on hard times."

The marae has been inundated with support since it announced it would house homeless families this week.

"There have been heaps of donations, it's been really awesome," Mr Dennis said.

Manaaki Tangata - volunteers at the marae working with the homeless people - asked that anyone with donations of blankets, food or clothing, email the marae first, on tepueamemorialmarae@gmail.com, to help with itemisation.

Mr Dennis said Te Puea would keep taking in people for as long as possible.

"Manaaki Tangata will continue to provide on-going support, relief and comfort for homeless whanau through the coldest and toughest months of the winter. "

- NZ Herald

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