Living in a tent for 15 years

2019-02-06 06:00
From left: Community activist Gavin Hoskins, Iris Holby, Manuel Holby and Vernon Gerder. PHOTO: byrone athman

From left: Community activist Gavin Hoskins, Iris Holby, Manuel Holby and Vernon Gerder. PHOTO: byrone athman

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BROUGHT to tears as she explained her living situation for the last 15 years, Iris Holby from Woodlands says that constant empty promises and visits to city council meetings have been futile.

Unemployed and with a child addicted to whoonga, Holby says that she, her two children and brother live in a tent which is often plagued by mud slides during the rain which forces them to take refuge in the house that they are living behind.

“When it rains we cramp up with the people who live in the house where we stay in the backyard,” said Holby.

Holby, while tears trickled down her face, said that staying in the tent was not their only problem as they are plagued by constant sewage problems with raw sewage overflowing behind their tent sometimes for weeks on end.

“The smell here is terrible, but we have to live like this. We have to get our water from a pipe which is nearby to where the sewage overflows,” said Holby. Holby said that her brother had been to countless council meetings where he has even been brought to tears as he pleaded for proper housing.

Living within metres of a trainline, Holby said that they have had a few run- ins with criminals but they are defenceless because they have no proper fencing.

Local community activist Gavin Hoskins said he has bared witness to the Holby’s pleading for proper shelter numerous times to no avail. “These people are suffering. No human should live like this. We are hoping that with election time upon us that the political parties will look to people like this in our neighbourhoods and see their struggles and feel something so they can help,” said Hoskins.

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