The Homeless and Auckland City Mission

Today I went up to the Auckland City Mission to find out how to get access to a homeless person.  I initially met with Charlotte who tells me to come back at 1pm to meet with Wilf.

I went back up at 1.30pm and waited for Wilf, during my wait I met an interesting fellow, let’s call him Cliff. Shirt off, complaining about the heat, blood-shot eyes, loud voice, telling the women they look beautiful.  He seemed a bit on edge, and a bit of a show off.  He came and sat next to me.  “What’s your occupation” he said.  “I’m an artist”, I said back.  He went on to say that he has met a few artists and that his sister is an artist.  Then he told me that his sister was dating a guy that got “thrown away” for 7 years for dealing a pound of meth to an undercover cop.  She isn’t seeing him anymore, but is now a “courier” or a go-between for another dealer and goes up to his place every day with at least 4 ounces to drop off.  All I could do was nod and smile, I was actually quite shocked at how open this guy was with me, I hadn’t even said a whole sentence to him yet.

Enter Wilf…Cliff tells me to not say anything about what I just heard as I walked out the back.

Wilf, interesting name I thought – when Charlotte told me to come back to see Wilf, I actually thought she had said Wolf…I had this image in my head of a grey haired striking looking man.  Wilf has a very clam nature about him, he has long grey hair and a grey, neatly clipped, short beard – and very striking looking…my premonition was almost right.

We sat out the back of the city mission and chatted about my project and how he could help me.  It was a short but very interesting conversation.  I found out that some of the homeless people take part in projects around the city.  One, which Wilf looks after, is a gardening project up at Ngati Whatua.  They grown their own veges and plants and sometimes use the veges for dinner at the city mission.  They also have a fishing club a drama club and are looking at putting on an art exhibition.

I will wait with absolute patience if the men he talked about will be interested in participating.

About Karley Burgs

Artist - Painter, Sculptor Lover of Taxidermy Girl Friday
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