Rotorua couple risk financial ruin to help the homeless

A Rotorua couple has risked everything they own for a good cause.

When life forced Tiny Deane to give up his job as a truck driver his wife Lynley looked at Rotorua's homelessness problem and said "let's help fix that".

There were a few challenges, for example they had zero experience in social work and didn't have any funding.

So, to raise cash, they sold their rental property and mortgaged their own home. Their charity, Visions of a Helping Hand, was created. 

"It's about social conscience. When I grew up I can't remember there being a homeless situation in New Zealand and we believe that everybody should have a roof over their head," Lynley told The Project.  

In less than 10 months they opened a shelter, then another and another.

One year on, they've now fed and housed more than 1000 people and have even bigger plans on the horizon.

"This year, it's all about building houses. So we're gonna try and build 20 before Christmas, then 25 every year." 

Watch the video for the full interview.

The Project.