REAL LIFE GUEST BLOG: Lou – 15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homeless since May



This is Key’s real life – other NZers aren’t so privileged 


15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homeless since May.

I went to the Salvation Army yesterday on advice for emergency housing as my temporary accomodation had turned volatile. Just got off the phone with Salvation Army they can’t help me, they only take women and children up to the ages of 12, if you have a son who is over 12 they turn you away. My son is 15, he’s a lovely boy who I am very protective of. Same story at Napier Womens Refuge??!!

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The Sallie said try a backpackers…..???

And National want Salvation Army to be a major part of Social Housing in the new era, something feels really wrong.


Lou is a New Zealander whose reality is utterly ignored by politics and media. Real Life Guest Blog aims to give their realities attention. 


  1. Lou, I am not in the office today, but please call Rob or Pauline in my office on 06 8356093, or drop in to 155a Tennyson Street, and they will see what can be done to sort this dreadful situation out. I am aware there are a number of empty state houses (mostly in Maraenui) that I am sure we can get you into. Regards Stuart

  2. This story clearly demonstrates what is wrong today in NZ, as central Government is so out of touch with the real world suffering at their hands as they cut and slash all services designed to cushion those at the bottom of National’s list of priorities, as they move to reward the rich at the expense of the poor and middle class.

    Lou your story has a bitter taste that should be investigated by Campbell live or any other MSM investigative Journalism, but don’t hold your breath, and Salvation Army should be named and shamed for not giving any “salvation” to those in need they receive funding from the public they claim that funding is for.

    Shame on the Salvation Army..

    • This doesn’t clearly demonstrate anything. Leaves a lot of questions on the table. You are quite obviously happy to set up a lynch mob for the Sallies based on a couple of sentences of someone’s unsubstantiated living arrangements.

    • The Salvation Army is not responsible for not having the capacity to deal with the amount of homeless that is the result of government policy.

      They didn’t put their hands up to be the sole provider of social and community housing. It is the National government that has delegated them the role.

      • Molly, there is no reason for the Salvation Army to be forced into being the sole provider for social & community housing, if they really cared for the poor of this country they would tell the government to get their act together and solve the housing crisis themselves.

        Methinks the cash offered was too much for the Sallies to turn down.

  3. Pretty light on detail. I would be curious to know more about the reason for the number of shifts and a bit more about Lou’s background.

    • OK Daily Blog. Enhance your credibility. Get to the bottom of this story and tell us the full story. It would be a very real example for change, and gain public support, if the story is as presented.

        • No one said she was lying. Its just that there is not very much info here. Why is Lou moving so often? Is his son really a lovely boy? Why has he been turned away? What is Lou’s current employment status? Give us more information about how he came to be in this situation before condemning the agencies that are there to help in these events.

      • Dan, there is no reason why you can’t get off your hind quarters and get to the bottom of this story, that is if you really care..

        • A silly comment MAAMA. With the profile of the many contributors to this site, they would certainly have the means to get to the bottom of this story (see the names under Blogs Via The Bloggers). Even more disappointingly is that my comment in reply to LISSA, basically saying that it would be helpful to get the whole story, has not appeared to get past the moderator of this site.

  4. Well a follow up from Stuart Nash would be interesting? At AAAP we deal with homeless on a daily basis.
    You have my full attention.

  5. The Salvation Army may have done some good in the community however what is particular interesting is that using Christian values to advance their business interests with little return to the poor people they supposedly serve. I’m sure they have charitable status which makes the salvo’s exempt from paying taxes however the little return i’m alluding to is the hugely tax payer government funded programs like drug & alcohol which have very low success rates, additionally these programs are liken to herding cattle in & out of the programs without any external evaluations conducted but thanks for your dole payments & associated costs form the tax payer for each client.These programs also lack cultural sensitivity with the one size fits all mentality counselled by some inexperienced counselors. The salvo’s second hand shops which are donated goods from the community & estates have over inflated prices that the poor can’t afford & don’t bother to shop there rather we see an influx of middle class people looking for a bargain.The Salvation Army like many other churches such as St Vincent,The Red Cross which is facing a law suit for misappropriating funds to the tune of millions should pay taxes because they are corporations & should not hide behind the veil of Christianity which really is not Christian & finally William Booth the founder of The Salvation Army would be rolling in his grave to see his organisation become this big money munching real-estate buying land selling corporate devil. It takes more than releasing reports on poverty & social housing to do any good in the community & should not be running social housing because at the end if the day they are a business & should pay taxes like many other businesses. Stop building empires on the backs of the poor.

  6. Perhaps a writer or reader of the Daily Blog can put Lou up? Here is a chance for someone of left wing disposition and a believer in social justice to show how much they really care about the poor.

    • Well, I volunteer as an advocate for beneficiaries. I work at AAAP one day a week and have done for a year. Then I write blogs pertaining to the politics of welfare to raise awareness in my down time.

      And you Stephen?

      • I work hard and make huge sacrifices and then the government takes money off me to pay for people who depend on social welfare.

        • No Stephen, you are incorrect. The government pays people to survive because our jobs have been exported to low-wage societies such as China, Pakistan, Fiji, etc.

          Remember that once upon a time we had unemployment as low as a few dozen people.

          Even in 2007, unemployment dropped to 3.4% ( – and then 90,000 people lost their jobs because a few fuckwits in Wall Street sent the global economy down the toilet.

          So don’t be a tosser. You’re simply parroting idiotic gibberish from the more ignorant of the Right Wing.

            • One of the reasons there’s not much of anything in Somalia is because the EU fishery fleets have decimated their once abundant fish stocks. These same countries now have the audacity to complain about Somalia fishermen turning to piracy to survive.

            • Watching a news item on Al Jazeera a few months ago, there are tax collectors in government controlled areas of Somalia.

              Perhaps Bangladesh is a more appropriate destination? About 1.4 million pay taxes out of the more than 150 million population. Perhaps the wretched poverty, work conditions and corruption will be enjoyed?

        • …and to pay for the hospital you go to when you’re sick and pay teachers and police and pensions when you get old and the roads you drive on …

          These huge sacrifices – cut off an arm? sacrificed your first born? or just worked long hours?

        • Considering the precarious circumstances Lou and son are in demonstrates there can’t be much in the way of social welfare. This Government considers corporate welfare important though.

  7. In response to the comment from Lou about Napier Womens Refuge. Womens Refuges are safe houses for women and their children who need to be safe from domestic violence. This is only what they are funded to do. They are Not funded to provide emergency accommodation because of homelessness.

    • And therein lies the problem. You can criticise the Salvation Army, maybe with some justification, however the fact remains that it is the government that is abandoning its responsibilities by outsourcing its housing obligations to a third party. And by restricting funding to existing emergency services.

  8. “The Sallie said try a backpackers…..???”

    No room at the inn eh? Putting aside the issue about the rules, etc, the very least the Sallies could have done, is if they couldnt help Lou, hit the phones to find someone who could.

  9. @ Stephen I was a taxpayer too I was a Corrections Officer at Mangaroa Prison before my life hit a bump. @ Sherryl maybe if I had been managed bettef after first being in Womens Refuge care in January this year after being beaten, eye gouged and strangled and HNZ actually gave a shit I might not STILL. be homeless . For the prson who wants more detail don’t worry it’s coming. I am sure you had a safe roof over your head last night.

    • Cunliffe isn’t prime minister nor leader of the opposition, how can he be accountable for advancing policy affecting those in precarious circumstances?

    • … and there is also no point putting a picture of Graceland on there either because Elvis is also not the current PM of New Zealand that is exacerbating this problem with government policy.

  10. If there were any truth to this story it would have been on the 6pm news by now (and the govt cannot control all tv channels). For goodness sake, a worthy opposition is essential in a democracy, but talking what is in effect shit, will not help.

    • I had replied “Good to see your story got some publicity. Good luck” but for what ever reason it did not get through, so here it is again.

  11. Fact remains that we have an ‘ absentee’ govt that skirts these issues with lies, deceit, manipulation , cowardice and an avarice that panders to national and international monetary concerns.

    As well as rapidly entrapping this population with surveillance measures which are only designed to control its own nationals.

    These are the REAL reasons why such third world poverty exists in our once great SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC country.

    If any one wants to point the finger we would do well to look at the progressive neo liberal govt traitors that have raped this land for the last 35 years.

    THERE is your enemy.

  12. Whenever I’ve read similar Posts/writings ; where the writer shares their experiences which are unpleasant and express a desire to be heard and frankly sympathised with , particularly when it comes to matters of poverty , out come all sorts of odd responses from all sorts of very odd people .

    There are those rare , genuine people who understand the narrative and want to help and can . There are others who want to help but can’t or won’t for their own personal reasons , others still who blame those at-risk for their misfortunes . They’re a kind of misguided , intellectually unarmed , base human being perhaps more suited to galloping with the pack through some forest or over some plain after wilder beast .

    The ones to watch closely are those whom get a pleasure out of the miseries of others , and there are a couple here and it would be wise to keep an eye on them . And by that , I mean don’t be drawn into their narrative . They crave to be loathed . Nicky Hager wrote in his book ‘ Dirty Politics ‘ of how Cameron Slater enjoyed being hated and was never happier than when he knew he destroyed a life . Charming .

    My point is that we can’t be trusted . None of us ‘ individually ‘ can always be relied upon to help those who , for one reason or another , can’t help themselves .

    We must all come to understand that we humans are an holistic organism . We are One . And the more I ponder that phenomenon the more I see clues to that as a reality .
    I’ve just travelled through a couple of countries that are desperately poor , wildly dangerous and unbelievably fabulous . The reason for their fabulousness I believe is that they are comfortable with their humanness . Ironically , the reason they’re dangerous and poverty stricken is because us Westerners used their countries as theatres of war against a manufactured enemy . ( Where have I heard that before ? )

    Whenever you hear someone preaching ‘ individual freedoms ‘ over a collective responsibility to help those at risk ? You know there’s going to be trouble ahead .

    To give an example of what I mean .

    I fell off my moto ( motorbike ) . I tried to sneak around a bus by mounting a tall curb , riding along the footpath and out and away . I got the front wheel up but the back wheel stalled so I put my foot down to give a bit of push and got my shoe stuck under the heat guard . For a split second , the Universe stalled and everything went into slow motion as I slowly toppled over since I wasn’t able to put my right foot down . I fell , upside down into the gutter , my bike on top of me . I was wedged between the curbing and the open door into the bus . As I shrieked and wailed and struggled and heaved while stuck under a small moto , the bus passengers were already leaping into action . Ten or more people lifted the bike off me , stood me up , brushed me down , gave me my stuff and vanished . The bus driver was less charitable and swore at me in a foreign language as he gently checked me out and tut tutted at my bleeding bits and pieces .

    In New Zealand ?
    Would someone on the bus have pinched my camera ? Would the other passengers have just sat there and gaped and muttered ‘ Serves him right ‘ ?
    The bus driver , too afraid to act outside his job description would have called the police and stood back ?
    The police would have come along and given me a ticket for careless use of a moto ?

    Those of you who criticise @ Lou for her sharing her story of her misfortune and need should very carefully examine your concept of being Human . Particularly at this time of year when hypocrisy is at its highest levels .

    And while Jonky The Floater in The Pool is bobbing about , think of how he made his millions ? From whom he made his millions from ? Of what use he is to the Greater Scheme of Things ?

    The reason he , and his ilk , can do what they do to us for their pleasure and profits is because they have convinced us that to be ‘ free ‘ we must embrace ‘ individualism ‘ . To be as free to be imprisoned in debt in country as rich as ours is as we like .

    The parasitic application of logical fallacies via the MSM has rendered us all compliant and seemingly helpless to challenge The Jonky-Stien Effect . jonky sells poverty and hopelessness for profit

    Seen ‘ Wolf of Wall Street ‘ ?

    Read this ? Logical fallacies –

    Chris Hedges . Another loser Pulitzer prize winning journalist and no doubt henchman to the Left .

    “Those who fail to exhibit positive attitudes, no matter the external reality, are seen as maladjusted and in need of assistance. Their attitudes need correction. Once we adopt an upbeat vision of reality, positive things will happen. This belief encourages us to flee from reality when reality does not elicit positive feelings. These specialists in “happiness” have formulated something they call the “Law of Attraction.” It argues that we attract those things in life, whether it is money, relationships or employment, which we focus on. Suddenly, abused and battered wives or children, the unemployed, the depressed and mentally ill, the illiterate, the lonely, those grieving for lost loved ones, those crushed by poverty, the terminally ill, those fighting with addictions, those suffering from trauma, those trapped in menial and poorly paid jobs, those whose homes are in foreclosure or who are filing for bankruptcy because they cannot pay their medical bills, are to blame for their negativity. The ideology justifies the cruelty of unfettered capitalism, shifting the blame from the power elite to those they oppress. And many of us have internalised this pernicious message, which in times of difficulty leads to personal despair, passivity and disillusionment.”
    ― Chris Hedges

    Homelessness in New Zealand is hilarious for its black humour . It’s so preposterous for it’s abstract concept that you’d think it was a script for some dire Irish TV skit .

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