Female and homeless: fending off the drunks

Auckland Council has announced it will count the city’s rough sleepers, to fully grasp its scale of homelessness here. We took to the streets to learn about the people on society’s edge, whose current way of life the council hopes to eliminate.

Fending off the drunken pub-goers of south Auckland has been part of a Manurewa mother-of-three’s nights for the past year.

She has no money for a taxi to take her home, and no home to go to even if she did: this woman with kind eyes and rotting teeth is a rough sleeper.

“It gets to the point where our street males have to fight to defend us,” she says, sitting outside the dairy where her posse spends its days hustling.

She doesn’t want to be named – says she already feels vulnerable enough – but she does want people to know how scary it is for homeless females spending nights in the open.

We will call her Alice and she is 29-years-old. Alice says there are about five women sleeping on the Manurewa streets at the moment, down from far more in the warmer months. A pregnant woman in her twenties was part of the crew until a week ago; “she’s gone home now,” says Alice. The majority of the others have been housed by LinkPeople, an organisation working to help the homeless, and Alice hopes she eventually will be too.

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Source: Stuff NZ