For three years Mark and Renee have lived in their vehicle with their two dogs and more recently their two children. But now they have a home. They reveal to journalist Kelly Makiha what life has been like.
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Rene'e Mackie says she "lost her s**t".
"I'm done. I'm out of here," she screamed.
Someone had stolen their cat.
To her and husband, Mark, their animals are part of their family and they go wherever they go.
That means her cat and their two dogs have been homeless alongside them for the past three years.
Their animals are also part of the reason they are homeless.
They've applied for hundreds of rentals but each time, they fail - those without animals are more attractive for landlords.
While Rene'e and Mark and have done it tough living in their van and more recently a bus at different locations around Rotorua, the deep need to get a house came when Rene'e's two school-aged children moved back with them.
Rene'e's teen son had been with them a year and primary school-aged daughter came back in January.
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"Kids need their space and privacy," Mark said.
They don't get a lot of that parked at Sulphur Point, using the public toilet block nearby and driving every night to Waipa to the shower facilities at the mountain bike carpark.
Rene'e said she hit rock bottom at the end of last year and contemplated suicide, only to pick herself back up.
Losing the cat was almost the last straw. She cried for a week and started to feel again like there was no hope.
While sitting in her class at Toi Ohomai, where she is studying a four-year social work degree, she answered her phone.
It was Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities, they had found a three-bedroom house near their children's schools and they could move in on March 23 - today.
"I was like holy s**t universe, you heard me."
Rene'e said she suffered from a lot of health conditions, including rheumatic fever, chronic nerve damage, problems with her pelvis, swollen legs and asthma. She said she was personally looking forward to living a healthier lifestyle.
"I will never take it for granted again to just have a shower after having to drive 10 to 15 minutes to have one."
She said her children didn't like to consider themselves homeless, instead said they were "houseless" as nowadays the homeless in Rotorua had a bad name.
"We don't do alcohol or drugs. We are struggling to make ends meet and I'm just appalled at the spitting on the ground, the peeing on buildings of those ones down at Kuirau Park.
"They are honestly acting like animals and they look like something that's come out of a zoo."
Rene'e said she and Mark would forever be grateful to Elma and Gina Peiffer who had provided them with a meal service over the years and had rallied around their contacts to help get furniture and supplies they needed for their big move.
Mark, who is on a sickness benefit, said he looked forward to no longer being abused by mainly locals who visited Sulphur Point.
He said the long-term homeless living there liked to look after the area, pick up rubbish and keep to themselves, but others went there and drank alcohol, did drugs, sped dangerously in their cars and used the ground as a toilet.
Mark said he and Rene'e had lived in their vehicle in Whangarei, Te Puke and at five different spots in Rotorua during the past three years.
He said they had been counting the sleeps to have their own home.
"Just to have the kids in their own space. Being in this situation has been hard for them ... It couldn't have come at a better time."
He said the genuine homeless who were victims of the housing crisis tended to stick together and didn't have time for those who took advantage of the help being offered.
"Even though we are homeless, we still have responsibilities and bills to pay. I'm still paying off the van I bought to swap for this bus. I could just walk away because they'd never find us but that's not right. And we don't indulge in drugs or alcohol because that's taking food from our kids' mouths."
He said the actions of some of the homeless around Kuirau Park annoyed him.
"My parents were good parents and raised me right. Some of them there, I see them always whacked or on that zombie weed and some of them deserve to be where they are."
Mark said Love Soup were lifesavers.
"Gina and Elma have been a big part in us surviving."
Elmer Peiffer said Rene'e and Mark had had it tough and they were happy to help them, including allowing them to park their vehicle for a period at their premises.
He said they put a Facebook post up asking for donations for their new home and had been given things like furniture, TV, TV stand, linen, pots and pans and cutlery.
"They probably could have been housed earlier if they were prepared to give up their animals but that wasn't a step they were prepared to take. We have had so many talks over this time to keep them on the right path and help them stay positive. We couldn't have asked for a better result."