Hawke's Bay homeless could face trespass notices

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

Trespass notices will be issued to homeless in Napier caught using the bus depot to sleep in. So far one notice has been issued to a homeless man.

The Napier City Council had received complaints from the public concerned about the growing number of homeless congregating at the depot.

To combat the problem the council is looking at the possibility of installing security gates, gates that can be locked when the station is not in use.

Kiri Swannell of Limitless Hope says, "It did concern me and we're offering a solution, this is not a solution, bars are not a solution and I think it will make Napier look worse, like a jailhouse if there's bars everywhere."

For the last three years, Kiri and her husband Kevin have been working towards establishing Hawke's Bay's first emergency shelter which they believe is the solution as oppose to moving homeless along.

"What its going to do is move these guys right into the centre of town and then we're going to have problems there again and the public is going to get upset because they're sleeping in alley ways and on doorsteps," she explains.

Through their charity Limitless Hope, they feed the homeless every Monday night and have been able to help get more than 40 individuals and families off the streets. 

"We believe that the way to move forward is to make time available to be able to connect with these guys and wrap the services around them to rescue them from where they're at," says Kevin Swannell.