Nikita Hubber is among the one-in-five Kiwis who have personally experienced homelessness, making The Sudsy Challenge a cause close to her heart.
Four years ago, Nikita spent nine months living in her car with her two dogs. She didn’t realise at first, but she was also pregnant.
“I would go nine days without showering,” Nikita recalls.
“I'd be wearing the same clothes; I'd even sleep in the same clothes. No one wanted to interact with me. I'd have to ask for showers from friends’ houses or scrape up my small change, take it to a shop to exchange into two-dollar coins and use them at truck stops.”
Nikita says the streets of New Zealand look very different these days with the brightly coloured Orange Sky vans making their rounds to offer clean clothes, showers and friendly conversation to those in need.
“A shower can transform a foul mood and appearance,” she says.
“Clean clothes give someone confidence and a genuine, judgment-free conversation can reinstil hope and faith, relieve stress and burden and give a more positive look on life.”
In some way or another, everyone has been impacted by COVID-19; people are without jobs and struggling to make ends meet.
Nikita knows all too well how small actions can lead to big impacts for people who are homeless or struggling to make ends meet.
“I signed up to help raise awareness and donations because I have been homeless and I know how tough it can be,” she says.
“It's a hard lifestyle to have. I want to help put the colour back in someone’s smile and the warmth back in their souls, to make them feel human and a part of society.”
You can support Nikita's Sudsy Challenge by donating here.