6 Sep 2013

Death of another homeless man 'tragedy'

10:25 pm on 6 September 2013

Auckland City Missioner Diane Robertson says the death of a second homeless man in the central city in a month is a tragedy.

Steven Harris, 54, who died in hospital after he was attacked in Myers Park about 11.30pm on Wednesday.

Last month, another homeless man, Edwin Linder, was killed in Mills Lane.

Ms Robertson told Morning Report there are as many as 100 sleepers in the central city at any one time and they are tremendously vulnerable.

She said rough sleepers were exposed not only to the elements but to violence, and the City Mission dealt with people who had been kicked and shoved.

"We spend a lot of time dealing with injuries from people who have been assaulted and been attacked," she said.

Ms Robertson said the two deaths made people who were invisible, visible, for a short while - but more attention needed to be focused on the homeless as a group.