T Rex is the most humble, mild mannered man you might meet at Merge Café since Jesus swung by on his ’04 tour. This morning he asked permission to read a newspaper, and this afternoon he politely asked for any end of day left overs.
A generous donor paid a meal forward, so we gladly piled his plate with crumbed fish, baked potatoes, beef stew, vegies and gravy, and asked him to drop a dollar in the donation box next time he had one spare.
T’ Rex is a long term rough sleeper who lives under a motorway bypass in a tent with all the comforts of a foam mattress and blankets from Auckland City Mission. He says he enjoys visiting Merge Café because it is a comfortable space where he feels safe.
“Because I’m a slow fulla, I like coming here and mixing with people who understand,” says T’ Rex.
Family is not far away and T’ Rex believes they would offer him a place to stay if he asked.
“There is no real reason I couldn’t live with them but I don’t ask. I think if I asked my family for a place to live they would help me. I like to keep things small. I don’t want to let things get out of hand. It’s my own sense of power, you know?” says T’ Rex.
“I just kind of lost myself,” he says.
T’ Rex has direct experience of our mental health system but does not currently engage with their services. At 40 years old T’ Rex looks much younger and maintains a dignified demeanour. You won’t hear him swear and he is a delight to be near.
His manners may have been gained at any number of the colleges he attended including Papakura High, Pukekohe High, St Kentigans and Palmerston North Boys High.
When not dining at one of Auckland’s finer charity restaurants, T’ Rex can be found connecting with social networks on the internet and says he enjoys FaceBook and using the facilities at the Auckland Central Library where internet services are free.
T’ Rex is not a fan of drinking and limits himself to two glasses of beer or wine a week.
– Guest blog written by Lifewise social worker Sistar Six