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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 December 2006, 07:00 GMT
Christmas cheer for homeless driver
A Belfast taxi driver, who was made homeless after a family row and who had been living out of his car for almost a year, is now preparing for a Christmas with a "proper roof" over his head.

The man, who did not want to be identified, is now living in a house he has rented from a friend.

Taxi sign
The taxi driver is now delighted to be living in a house

Speaking to BBC Radio Ulster's Natasha Sayee, he said: "This is now home, the gas fire is lit and it's great just being able to make someone a cup of tea.

"I am getting settled now, getting my life back on track, you can just see from the smile on my face that I am happy to have a roof over my head."

He said he had been busy with well-wishers since he moved in two weeks ago.

"The door hasn't stopped, people are calling to get a wee look and they're impressed with the house, as am I.

I don't have to drive around and pick a safe place to park. I can feel really safe in the home, I come in, lock the doors and I know no one is going to be bothering me
Taxi driver

"As you can see the fire is burning in the grate and it feels all nice and homely."

He had been living out of his car since January 2006 and could not afford rented accommodation.

At night he slept in car parks or near forest areas, but now he has his own bed.

"I don't have to drive around and pick a safe place to park. I can feel really safe in the home, I come in, lock the doors and I know no one is going to be bothering me," he said.

He has even decorated the house for the festive season, with not only one Christmas tree but two and all for his daughter.

"Oh yes, the tree, there'll be presents under there for the child when she visits.

"She's already picked out the colours for her bedroom.

"She's gone off pink, it'll be lilac with big white hearts and she wants bunk beds, she has a friend that will be coming down for sleepovers, I've been informed, so the child has my life sorted for me."

After nearly a year without anywhere to live, he is looking forward to putting 2006 behind him.

"I just can't believe it, it's overwhelming. 2007 is looking good for me, I'll be happy if everything stays similar".




SEE ALSO
When a man's home is not a house
06 Dec 06 |  Northern Ireland



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