Imagine losing the keys to your Mercedes Benz, and having them returned to you by two homeless men in the CBD! Meet our clients Jack* and John*. Unable to afford rent, they became homeless and sought refuge in the mountains above Cape Town.
The car owner was so grateful to them that he gave them a reward, which they used to replenish stock for their small mobile vending business. COVID-19, however, was not as generous. Lockdown meant they couldn’t trade and so their stock spoilt in storage, yet another loss for two individuals who remained hopeful throughout. Their daily treks to the soup kitchen in Mouille Point allowed them access to meals and the support services of our fieldworker, Tasneem Hoosain-Fielies. Together, they started navigating their journey from homeless to hopeful.
Now, a few months later, we have helped Jack* and John* regain their dignity and get their lives back on track through helping them get identity documents, a tent and sleeper bags. (All of these had previously been illegally removed during a law enforcement operation in the City.)
We are now assisting them with their vendor license application so that they may once again become self-sustainable and work towards alternative accommodation. Jack* has also been reunited with the man who taught him woodwork five years ago, who has since employed him to assist in his business.
Dignified intervention and support services – the link to a hopeful future for both Jack* and John*.
*not their real names