Napier homeless locked out of bus depot

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

Napier homeless are using the bus depot as a shelter to sleep in and hold their belongings.

The Napier City Council has already issued at least one trespass notice to the homeless and today started installing metal gates that will be locked at night.

The gates will be locked when the depot is not in use and will mean the homeless can no longer sleep there at night or use it as a shelter and will need to be moved on after hours.

The homeless using the shelter has been sore point for the council, with members of the public concerned about the growing number of homeless assembling at the depot.

Sooty is one homeless men that has using the shelter. He says they are often the target of youth gangs who have threatened them with knives and other types of violence. However, they are not deterred and about seven regulars use the depot as a make-shift home.

Another homeless man, who did not want to be identified says, they often get abused, but they have nowhere else to go.

But with no emergency shelter in Hawke's Bay, Kiri and Kevin Swannell of Limitless Hope have been working towards establishing the regions first emergency shelter which they believe is the solution as opposed to moving homeless along.