"It is a start."

That is how 23-year-old Tylah described the Budget's efforts to help the homeless in New Zealand.

"It is not until homeless people see it actually practically done, that they will believe in it," he said.

Tylah has been living on the street on and off for two years and sleeps in the Government Gardens.

Homeless man Jace Carlson. Photo / Stephen Parker
Homeless man Jace Carlson. Photo / Stephen Parker

"I got tired of boarding with family and going from couch to couch."

Tylah said he wanted to see support for night shelters in the Budget.

"It seems that was missing. For example, we really need a night shelter here in Rotorua. Whakatane just had one built. They even have lockers to keep their belongings in."

He also said that for him, building more state housing was part of the solution.

"It is great for those of us that want to move up in life. A few people choose to be homeless though, once they know what is available and cheap you know, free meals and no rent to pay."

Tylah said he was "gradually acquiring the necessities".

"I have a car now, my goal is to have fulltime work."

He said he did his best not to look homeless.


"I encourage others not to look it too. The last thing you need is people to judge you on your appearance."

Like Tylah, fellow Rotorua "streetie" Jace Carlson had been hoping to see night shelters supported in the Budget.

"We definitely need a night shelter in Rotorua. We need to centralise everything. Somewhere where people can eat, sleep and shower in one spot. So they can have the normal daily privileges. We call them privileges because we do not normally get them."

He has been homeless for a year.

"People do not have an open mind, everyone has a different reason for being on the street, a different background. We just get told to get a job and get a life, but people do not know why we are on the streets. There is a lot of discrimination. You end up backed up in a corner."