14 May 2020

Homeless man looks for positives from lockdown troubles

3:53 pm on 14 May 2020

The lockdown has proved a difficult seven weeks for many New Zealanders - including a man forced to live in his car in Wellington.

89175150 - pair of dirty old black shoes abandoned outdoors in landscape format

Dave Finlay's shoes have got holes in them but he's trying to turn life around. [file pic] Photo: 123RF

Dave Finlay told Morning Report that talking face to face with social services has been off-limits while public facilities for showering or washing clothes have also been shut.

He said he was staying upbeat and the lockdown should help people appreciate the little things in life.

"I live in a car ... no fault of anybody else but my own. I'm working my way out of it.

"But the unfortunate thing I have is I can't go to WINZ [Work and Income] and knock on the door and speak to somebody because the doors are closed.

"I don't have internet, I don't have the resources - technology, computers to go and do online shopping. I can't go to the Warehouse and buy new shoes, my shoes have got holes in them."

He said normally there was a place in town where he could shower for $2, but that was closed along with his usual laundromat.

"I'm down to what I have, and that's grubby. And my pride, my self - it hurts because I like to have standards and I like to give and not receive, and I don't believe in the handouts but I want to support myself.

"With the lockdown, the doors are closed and I can't do this."

He said he didn't have mental health or drug addiction issues nor did he have an alcohol problem."I'm just an older person, I'm 70 in another week. I should have accommodation through life. It has turned its own way that I'm in this situation."

He said he didn't blame anyone for it."Sometimes, you can have things taken away. We don't know what tomorrow brings - it could bring good fortune or bad fortune. I have had a bit of rough time.

"In some ways, I think this virus thing is a good thing, not in regards to somebody getting hurt, sick or passing away, but it's teaching people a lesson to respect what you do have and look at the things you take for granted."

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