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Father sleeping in car to pay bills gets job, new home

Newshub logoNewshub 17/04/2018 Cleo Fraser

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A young father forced to live in his car 160km away from his family just to pay for the basics has been reunited with his son and pregnant partner - all thanks to Newshub readers.

Jones Ioane and his partner had been struggling for the past year to pay rent for a two-bedroom house in Papatoetoe. After rent and bills they had nothing left - despite the couple both working.

Faced with the prospect of never getting ahead, the family gave up their rental early last month and Mr Ioane's partner and child moved to Whangarei where the cost of living is cheaper.

However Mr Ioane as unable to find work close to home. He was forced to live in his car four nights a week, staying at parks and in alleyways close to his work in south Auckland so he could provide for his family in Whangarei.

His story touched many Newshub viewers and readers, prompting 60 people to send in emails offering help and support.

Jones Ioane was forced to sleep in his car 160km away from his family. © Newshub. Jones Ioane was forced to sleep in his car 160km away from his family. Mr Ioane declined offers of money and free places to stay, but did accept one of the dozens of job offers sent to Newshub reporter Cleo Fraser.

Rangi Tahere's wife Angelina gave her husband a nudge after seeing Newshub's story about Mr Ioane and he put in a call to his employer A1 Labour Hire.

Mr Ioane is now working as a labourer alongside Mr Tahere on the New Zealand Transport Agency's State Highway One upgrade to Warkworth.

"You can make a difference to help a family out, to help someone out - which is pretty much the Kiwi way, isn't it?" Mr Tahere says.

And more good news for Mr Ioane - the family have moved into a three-bedroom home in Whangarei.

"Knowing that I can go to sleep in my own bed at night and wake up to my family [and] wake to see my son hugging me - those are the parts I was missing out on," he told Newshub from his new home.

He says he's been overwhelmed by the heartwarming response from Kiwis, especially Mr and Mrs Tahere.

"Thank you to all the people for showing their support and just showing their love."

A1 Labour Hire says there are plenty of opportunities for workers to upskill on the job. Mr Ioane plans to learn how to drive a digger and other machinery.

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