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Good Samaritan revels in 'showing love', a year on from re-mortgaging Rotorua home to help homeless

It's now been a year since Rotorua-based good Samaritan Tiny Deane re-mortgaged his house to set up a homeless shelter, and in that time he has housed and feed over 1000 people.

Mr Deane has started up three large night shelters, two in Rotorua and one in Taupō.

Breakfast presenter John Campbell asked Mr Deane today why he did it.

“Because my wife said,” he replied. 

“I was put out of driving trucks and on ACC and she said, 'Maybe we should look at doing homeless,' and then when we looked into it I just got overwhelmed that there wasn’t a lot happening for them.

“We got so carried away that we sold our rental, and then when we did Taupō we mortgaged the house that we are in at the moment to do down there as well.”

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Community groups in the Bay of Plenty town wanted to help those rough sleeping, stating with taking a count Source: 1 NEWS

The couple is now getting funding from the Ministry of Social Development and The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.

Mr Deane said he knew that no one would initially back them so they had to back themselves.

“Once we got into it, I knew with my background and having no education that no one would really back us, so that’s the reason we backed ourselves.”

Tiny Deane’s wife, Linley, said as a society we need to have a social conscience and see the homeless as any other person.

“I see them as people that could be my uncle, my cousin, my sister, my aunty that has just fallen on hard times. People just prefer not to look. If that was a puppy sitting on the side of the street, would you walk past?”

Mr Deane said that, at the end of the day, it is all about showing love.

“The amount of people that we have helped into housing and feeding and looking after and getting to appointments and showing them love is so special,” he said. 

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He talks to Breakfast about what has been happening since the project launched. Source: Breakfast