Awhi, 64, has made a temporary home with a cot and storage room for his food and souvenirs, but posh residents of Mount Maunganui, New Zealand, with “several million dollar” mortgages are not happy
A homeless man who lives in a cave says millionaires in nearby mansions are trying to evict him from the house where he “stays warm”.
Awhi, 64, lived in a ruined cave across from wealthy homeowners in the flashy Mt Drury Reserve neighborhood of Mount Maunganui, New Zealand.
In his temporary home, Awhi sleeps on a raised cot and has small shelves crammed with souvenirs and groceries donated by homeless charities.
The rock floor is covered with patterned carpets and even offers space for your dog.
He uses a paddle board as a door to provide some privacy and he has also decorated the small cave with abandoned toys and trinkets that were found on the beach.
The rich people who live nearby meet regularly to evict him from his temporary home, he says.
“They’re all millionaires here. They’d rather get me out of here,” Awhi told the New Zealand publication Things.
The 64-year-old worked, among other things, in forestry and as a construction worker before he got into difficult times. He said he returned “home” to where his family is from last year after his mother died.
He said, “My family was from here. I went to school, went out, got married, had children, my mother died, so I came home.
“It didn’t work out at home, so I just hit the streets again.
“I won’t live forever, but I want to stay as long as possible until the time comes.
“I get up in the morning, the sun is shining and I’m still off the ground.”
Local MP Simon Bridges confirmed that residents with “a few million dollars in mortgage” have filed complaints about Awhi.
He said, “It’s not so much Awhi, tell me, it’s more the buddies and fellow travelers who come along – drinking, parties, noise … graffiti, breaking into nearby construction sites – even fires.”
The MP added, “If I had a few million dollars in mortgage there, I might think the same way.
“I admit that it is complex and we don’t want to lack compassion here. It’s sad on every level.
“It’s a 2021-type problem, and it’s also a pretty accurate metaphor for Tauranga today – they have the most expensive real estate in New Zealand outside of Auckland, against homelessness and social issues.”
Despite the efforts of the millionaire residents, it is reported that the council cannot move Awhi because he slept in the cave for more than 18 months.
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