Christchurch homeless man off the streets

Christchurch homeless man off the streets

For the first time in more than 30 years, a Christchurch homeless man has a permanent roof over his head.

Failing health forced Tepi Amohia into the lifestyle change and it isn't without its challenges -- he's struggling to come to terms with sleeping in a bed.

After 30 years living it rough on Christchurch's streets, Mr Amohio now has a home.

He has spent the past seven days under a roof, but he is still getting used to this new way of living. The first night he opted to sleep in a nearby park.

"Mostly I just sleep on the floor," he says. "Just not quite ready to just stick the dog on top of the bed."

Mr Amohio pays $65 a week for his two-bedroom unit near the central city. Life on the streets has taken a terrible toll on his health and he decided it was time for a lifestyle change.

"I had four strokes in one week so my boy told me to get a house."

The move indoors was possible thanks to an initiative called Collective for the Homeless. Funded by the Red Cross, it aims to get homeless people off the streets.

No one is more proud of Mr Amohio than his son, Nathan Eves, who's moved in with him.

"Not much stress anymore -- not stressing out about being in abandoned building, being caught all the time and having to go to court for it," says Mr Eves.

Even Mr Amohio admits it's a lifestyle change for the better.

"If I was out there still I'd be rampaging around town and I'd be sitting outside the mission drinking every day, so it's a change but you've got to change. You can't be there for the rest of your life."

The comfort of home is a change he admits will still take some getting used to.