Homeless man finds shelter; job next task

After spending a Dunedin winter living in his car, Brent McEwan now has a fixed abode and is...
After spending a Dunedin winter living in his car, Brent McEwan now has a fixed abode and is working on his CV. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
A Dunedin man who spent the winter living in his car has found a fixed abode and is on track to secure a job.

Earlier this month, the Otago Daily Times  revealed the plight of Brent McEwan, who began living in his car five months ago after his father died of cancer and he was unable to remain in the rental accommodation they shared.

The 42-year-old said he was desperate for employment and a fixed abode.

Offers of accommodation and job leads flooded in after the article was published.

The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) became aware of his situation, and its staff organised short-term accommodation and a food grant. He is now  ensconced in his own room in Dunedin.

Mr McEwan said yesterday he was in good spirits and working on his CV.‘‘It’s good to have a bed and a roof. I’m just happy with that.

‘‘I’m more motivated. I was looking for work when I was in the car, but when you’ve got a roof over your head you can actually think.’’

After receiving offers of accommodation from as far afield as Roxburgh and Tapanui, along with several job leads, he said he was humbled by  the support from across the South.

‘‘I’d just like to thank the people that said I could stay at their place, and in the future I want to catch up with them to say I really appreciated their help.’’

His focus now is getting back into paid employment.

MSD regional director Sue Rissman, of Dunedin, said staff were pleased  get a roof over Mr McEwan’s head.

‘‘We’re really glad to have been able to help Brent find somewhere to live.

‘‘Brent’s coming back to see us next week so we can talk about helping him find work.’’

george.block@odt.co.nz

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