Sometimes, at this time of the year, the universe and all its awhi angels seem to have knocked off early and headed home - far away from the front line, where the homeless need to know there is hope somewhere over the hopeless rainbow.
With winter fast approaching and cold nights lingering longer, the prospect of finding somewhere dry and warm with a bed to gratefully sleep in is a reality many of us would struggle to even begin to understand.
We are in peak season right now, when panic is written across the faces of many who show up at the "Last Chance Hotel" looking for a bed. They try to hide their pride with a tall tale of "almost found us a whare", but they know we know why they are here – because they have nowhere else to go.
Imagine not knowing where you, as principal provider for your family, are going to keep your family warm and safe this winter.
How would we cope, if there was very little hope - and a lot less of anything else to help ease the pain of poverty, here in a land we call the Bay that has plenty?
Really? The Bay of Plenty?
It reminds me of a foreign tourist driving around our beautiful country and coming across signs that say "road works".
Well of course they do, we are driving on them.
Same can be said about the Bay of Plenty.
Sure it is, we see it every day, yet for some reason - just like the confusing road works sign - our society isn't working when we have an economy based around kai and first-class housing, yet we have more and more lost and lonely people going hungry with nowhere to live.
Perhaps we need new signs that say "Share the Love if you have some spare".
Sometimes it's good to remember to give back an attitude of gratitude when we hear what hope can do for the helpless who have very little hope in their lives right now.
It is hope that carries us when we are too tired to carry ourselves and it is the commodity of hope that we are all capable of sharing with those who face the wrath of winter without a whare.
It is hope that showed up when society recognised one of its community kingpins in the Queens Birthday Awards – our patron Sir Paul Adams, and knighted him. It gives us great hope when those in the kindness business know the community cares.
To Sir With Love, from all of us who you have shared the love with these past five years.
No one chooses to become homeless - more it chooses them from a sad set of circumstances dealt from a deck of stacked cards.
The trump card that can turn their lives around is hope.
Why am I writing this with such sadness when I am supposed to be the happy guy with aisles of smiles from my world?
It is because of what I have been watching all day long as the line of lost and lonely keep on coming through our front door. Even the bravest heart misses a beat and gets bummed out by the unfair world outside.
You want to help them all – but sadly you can't. Sometimes the wise words of a wife kick in and bring you back to the real world when you are gazing out the window wandering what's it all about, this crazy world where there is enough for everyone if we shared it.
"Stop trying to save the world and try and save your own ass for a change" is a well-worn anthem in our whare, more as an inhouse joke than an out-of-the-house whinge.
Clever girl, my Mrs, brought up around the marae, where the modus operandi is making sure everyone is looked after and the last person to be fed is yourself.
There is a lot to be learned from who gives to who and why.
For me it's never about sympathy and all about empathy, where strategic kindness - when it is directed at those who need it most, can bring about the best possible outcome.
I am often asked "how can we help the homeless?"
The answer is always hope.
Today, when times were tough, a couple of brothers walked in off the street and gave a koha of kindness and it gave us all hope.
They gave hope to those who sometimes run out when they are giving it out to those who need it most
Helpless and hopeless may sound like similar words but hope on its own is a gift that keeps on giving when shared for the right reason.
Perhaps we could sow hope into our wellbeing budget?
When we can take off our political potae, put on the hat of hope and start sharing what we have extra in the bay that has plenty, everything starts working - including the roads.
Tommy Kapai Wilson is a local writer and best-selling author. He first started working for the Bay of Plenty Times as a paperboy in 1966 and has been a columnist for 15 years. Tommy is currently the executive director of Te Tuinga Whānau, a social service agency committed to the needs of our community. email@example.com