National | Allan Adams

Homeless man in mystery photo auction found bruised and bleeding

This photograph of local homeless man Allen Adams was one of two framed photos delivered to a Port Chalmers gallery with a request for one of them to be auctioned to raise funds for Adams. Source / Trademe

By Colleen Hawkes, Stuff

Just as a Trade Me auction to raise funds for homeless man Allan Adams (Ngāpuhi, Chinese) hits $2750, he’s been found bruised and bleeding on the street.

Pea Sea Art director Dallas Henley and partner Robert Scott placed the Trade Me auction after receiving an anonymous parcel with two framed photographs of Adams. A handwritten note from the photographer requested one of photographs be auctioned to raise funds for Adams, and the other to be given to him.

On Sunday, Henley told Stuff a local woman came into the gallery to tell them she had just taken Adams to A&E after finding him at the roadside bleeding, with a large welt to the head. His mangled bicycle was beside him.

“She said he seemed to be concussed as he was not making a lot of sense,” she says. “The woman was visibly upset, and has no idea what happened.”

A spokesperson at Dunedin Hospital said it was too soon to provide an update on Adams’ condition.

Homeless man Allen Adams was photographed two weeks ago in Port Chalmers by an anonymous photographer. He was taken to Dunedin Hospital on Sunday morning bleeding and bruised.

Henley said the mystery photographer was moved by the man’s plight, and wanted to help him. “He has been seen sleeping rough, but I gather sometimes he has temporary accommodation with a friend. He has said he has been waiting two years for a [council] flat.”

The note delivered with the parcel said the photograph was taken on May 14, 2023.

“It is a portrait of one of your Port Chalmers community members often seen asking for change by the Night and Day [the gallery believes the writer meant the dairy in Port Chalmers which isn't a Night and Day],” the note said.

“There are two framed copies within, one of which I would like Pea Sea Art to sell at whatever cost you believe is appropriate. The money taken from that sale to be given to the gentleman in the photo who was very kind to give me permission to take his photo.

Allen Adams (Ngāpuhi, Chinese) grew up in Whakatāne and Auckland, and has been in Port Chalmers since 2001.

“The second picture to be given to him along with the money.

“I understand this is an unusual request, but I also believe Port Chalmers has a wonderful community and your gallery is an important focal point for art and creativity.

“I do not live in Port and was just passing through whilst working on a project. It would be great if you could make this happen. It's good for your great community and of course, this person. Thank you [illegible signature]."

The Trade Me auction total has climbed over the weekend, and there have been 42 bids so far. Henley says the support has been amazing: “We were surprised it got to $1000.”

The auction closes at 11.45am on Friday, June 2.