Love Soup Hibiscus Coast has been assisting homeless people almost since the group started, three years ago.
Director Julie King says the problem has grown on the Coast in that time. Recently it was highlighted when a man began regularly sleeping on a couch outside Whangaparaoa Hall, right at the door of the Love Soup office. Others are seen outside Coast Plaza and Whangaparaoa Library on these cold winter nights.
Recently one of Love Soup’s chiller vans was broken into – Julie says this was an attempt to get food, as they broke into the rear of the van. No food is stored in the vans overnight.
Julie says that people think more about the hardships that homeless people face in winter, but that the issue is there, year round.
“Love Soup volunteers are taking care packages, food, coats and sleeping bags out to the rough sleepers when we hear of them, or they approach us,” she says.
Several come to the Sunday free meals that Love Soup provides, or turn up at the hall.
“Sometimes they have been given things from a foodbank, but have nowhere to cook that food,” Julie says. “This can see them putting food aside and eventually eating out of date items. We give them something that has been prepared here.”
Knitter Josephine Burns of Gulf Harbour made around 140 beanies as well as scarves last winter for distribution by Love Soup. Any 4 ply yarn she can use would be appreciated, and can be dropped off at the Love Soup office in Whangaparaoa Hall.
Orewa college students, from left, Tanner Matten, Alice Watkins, and Norah Golland
Three Orewa College students have chosen to help the homeless as part of their Level 2 Social Studies course.
Alice Watkins, Norah Golland and Tanner Matten want to provide homeless people with care packages containing essential items, which they will work with Love Soup to distribute.
“Our project aims to ease the struggles that homeless people face daily, and to get the Hibiscus Coast community aware of a cause that is important to us,” Alice says.
They are looking for donations of items they can put in their packages. Items they need include: new personal hygiene supplies such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, menstrual hygiene products, baby wipes, band aids. Also clean warm socks, beanies, gloves, scarves, blankets, sleeping bags and non-perishable food.
Donations can be dropped off at the main office of Orewa College or The Coffee Mill cafe in Millwater.