Rodney's Long Journey Home

Two years ago Rodney was living on the streets in San Francisco. With the support of your donations and our partner Project Homeless Connect, Rodney pulled himself out of homelessness. He recently met a big goal to purchase a flight home to New Zealand and reconnect with his family. He sent this note to all of us:

It was such a harmonious breath the first breath taken when arriving in my Native Land of Aotearoa. It took a while to believe I was actually Home, but sunk in when I was received by my Sister and Aunty. The trip home was full of tears and chatter and I was in awe looking out the car window at the beautiful sky and landscape. I couldn’t wait to see my small Hometown which was a few hours’ drive away and found myself having to catch my breath as we got closer. The Whanau (Family) were all at the Homestead and hugs and kisses and tears all round, my Mum especially. Everyone had changed so much as I have been away a long time doing what I Love- Dance.
It was a struggle at first being Home in regards to settling in and re-establishing my foundations back into independence as things take time and patients. I now focus my days on my Tribe, Health, Spirituality and Family and supporting and educating local Youth through Dance. I started a small Dance ensemble made up of local Youth and producing a show to perform to local Schools Year 1 to 8. The Performance is an Interactive DANCE Show about Diversity/Culture/Disability and Accessibility, aimed to educate and empower Youth with and without disabilities, focusing on the concept of this ability- not disability. It will be premiering early in the year, 2016.
I will never forget how through the support of Rose Broome and Staff at Handup, Solange and Staff at Project Homeless Connect, Everyday Connect, I am now on my Turangawaewae (home soil) sharing the air with my Family and Tribe.
Thank You all so so much and I’m forever grateful and You are all forever in my Heart. I strive to emulate Your souls and be a better person. It’s soulful People like You that make the World more harmonious. Arohanui.
He waka eke noa (A canoe we are all in with no expectations)
Love, Rodney
Ngati Maniapoto

Read Rodney's update here and watch his story as he shared it with us almost one year ago: