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Let us make a difference in the lives of those who are homeless

Mould Empower Serve (MES), Sheltersuit SA, The Greater Tygerberg Partnership, Rea Thusana Foundation, Doorway to Dignity and the VRCID are working together during Social Development Month in South Africa to highlight the needs of the homeless and to encourage social and community involvement in this issue, with a number of events planned around World Homeless day on the 10th of October.

Homelessness is not going away, and it’s up to us to make a difference

The homeless person standing at the four-way intersection, or lying in a doorway on a cold night, has become just another feature of our daily lives in South Africa. We don’t even see it anymore. These are people who have fallen on hard times, not statistics or something to ignore and avoid in our daily lives. According to a study that took place in January, the South Africa’s Social Development Department estimated that there are 2,308 people currently experiencing homelessnes in the Western Cape. With this in mind, we are taking action during the month of October.

Although the problem of increasing homelessness is definitely not going away, days like World Homeless Day, commemorated on the 10th of October, serve as a reminder of this social and economic issue.

“The purpose of World Homeless Day is to draw attention to the needs of people who experience homelessness locally and provide opportunities for the community to get involved in responding to homelessness, while taking advantage of the stage an ‘international day’ provides – to end homelessness through improved policy and funding.”

Fittingly, Social Development Month is also celebrated in October to mark South Africa’s commitment to caring for the most vulnerable in society. Throughout the month of October, various organisations across South Africa will be working alongside Sheltersuit SA Foundation to address the plight of people in desperate living situations. 

Programme of events for October

A combination of events will be centred around the theme ‘HOPE’ on World Homeless Day, 10 October, and will be extended throughout the month.

The South Peninsula (Cape Town) will host a sleep-out event, part of a global movement, effecting positive social change for vulnerable and homeless communities.

Additionally, NGO Mould Empower Serve (MES) are opening up a centre: MES Parow Centre of Hope on the 10th October 2022, in order to reach more areas of the community and made possible through the generous donation of philanthropists.

The Street Store, a unique concept that creates a pop up clothing street store for the homeless, will be found at three accessible points around Cape Town during October. The Street Store concept started in Cape Town, but has become a global phenomenon, allowing the homeless access to clothing and replicating the experience of actual shopping, instead of just receiving handouts, in an effort to restore dignity to this underserved group. There will be a Street Store in Parow on the 27th October. 

Initiatives like Street Store offer the homeless not only much-needed clothing, but positive and uplifting social engagement within their immediate community. We call on all members of the community, to support this worthy initiative, by donating unwanted clothing. Contact Wilma Piek on 083 294 3667/ or Monique Muller on 061 587 0941/ to find out more.

“World Homeless Day marks one of the most important days on the calendar of the VRCID Social Team. It gives us ample opportunity to break down assumptions about homeless people and to make sure that everybody is informed of what causes homelessness, how to prevent homelessness and most importantly how to access services to the homeless where they can receiver holistic, longterm services. There are no quick fixes and we can only act appropriately if we are properly informed.” – VRCID Social Development Team

Those living without a safe place to call home need more than just a few rands from us. As a community and a nation it is within our power to make a difference in their lives through social upliftment initiatives such as World Homeless Day. Let’s get involved and make change happen. 

Learn more:

More information will be available on the websites and social media pages of the participating organisations.

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