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Life looking up for former rough sleeper, but doubts linger he'll ever get a state house

Life is looking up for a rough sleeper who featured on 1 NEWS last year, but he and some others who're waiting for a state house doubt they'll ever get one.

Charlie Nathan is now working as a truck driver, a stark contrast to life seven months ago when 1 NEWS found him living in his car.

"Dreams come true. Back at work, earning good money," he said of his new job.

He was forced to give up his previous job when he got ill and could no longer afford to pay his rent.

"I was staying in a flea-infected [home] and got really sick and laid me out for months. And I had to finish work altogether," Mr Nathan said last winter, as he sat in the car that was his home.

Mr Nathan was homeless for three months until the Social Development Ministry found him accommodation in a motel.

"I could feel comfortable and free," he said at the motel last year.

The safe haven gave him time to heal, both physically and mentally, and gave him the courage to get back to work.

"It changed me completely. I'm more stable now that I'm living in better conditions," he said.

His new boss has since given him a converted container to live in while he waits for a state house.

There are currently 67,000 state houses nationwide. The number of people like Mr Nathan on the housing register has doubled to more than 11,000.

The Government says hope is part of the reason more people are lining up for a state house.

"People are feeling hopeful that they may get help, so they're coming forward and letting us know that they need that support," said Carmel Sepuloni, Social Development Minister.

"And so yes, we're seeing an increased demand walk through the door. But actually that need was there before."

Mr Nathan says the response is still too slow and he doesn't hold out hope.

"I don't believe they'll give it to me. I think that's just the hearsay," he said.

He wants the Government to move even faster to ensure people like him get back up and running with a second chance.

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But he’s still waiting for a state house, and fears too many other people are in the same boat. Source: 1 NEWS