Donations flood in for man no longer homeless after three decades
A man who has moved into his first home after 33 years on the streets is feeling the love.
Rob Marriner, who had not had a hot shower, said he was heartened by the support, but would prefer people helped others before him.
"I've been to hell and back and I know how to survive that," he said.
"Some of the people out there, they don't need to [have to] survive it, they don't need to live it."
The 54-year-old, who has lived on west Auckland's streets since 1984, moved into his private rental in Sunnyvale the week of May 8.
Members of the community had since donated cutlery, towels, sheets, bedding and a television, he said.
"The overwhelming side is that there are actually people out there caring when you don't realise that there is people out there. You [can] put out a call and here they come," the 54-year-old said.
Marriner said he was also being given a Freeview box so he could watch television.
"The last time I lived in a house you used an aerial," he said.
"We looked like idiots running around putting an aerial up. The landlord upstairs told us we need a Freeview box."
Although Marriner said he was happy there were people he didn't know out there who cared for him, he felt a bit sad.
"I'm sad that people are giving me things, because my happiness was caring and sharing for everybody else.
"I've never had it done for me, and I'm just a normal fella."
Grant Wilson, co-ordinator for Taniwha Tales, an initiative Marriner is involved in, said the reaction from the public "has been absolutely awesome".
He said he had been emailed by Cornwall Park District School who had offered to donate to Marriner and his housemate any household items they may need.
The list was long, Wilson said, but the school said they would donate whatever Marriner most needed.
"What it has done is verified for me that there are people out there that do care, and all we have to do was make them aware of it," Wilson said.