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Ed Sheeran

He Korowai offers shelter in time of fear
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The head of far north Māori social service provider He Korowai Trust says dealing with fear is one of the biggest challenges of the COVID-19 lockdown.

Ricky Houghton has moved into the trust’s emergency housing in Kaitaia, along with 52 residents including people on bail, a men’s refuge, people with mental health or addiction problems and whanau who would otherwise be homeless.

He says apart from keeping residents fed, checking their health and trying to build up their immunity, looking after their mental state is the big challenge.

"Some people are acting out because they are scared the world is coming to an end. Some other people have said they will not be locked down and they may as well go to prison and I've said 'it's the same as if you go home.' We've had people that have left us and their families have rung us up to come and get them because of their behaviour. People are scared," he says.

He Korowai Trust has an area with beds in case anyone does get sick, and it has also prepared another building with showers and toilets in case there is a problem getting people to the hospital.

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