Pasta maker opens doors to homeless

2017-10-03 06:05

There is new hope for the homeless in Observatory as Ferdinando Pizza will fill their hungry tummies.

The owner of the restaurant, Kiman Bisogno, and a group of volunteers of the Art of Living organisation joined hands to start a pasta kitchen that will serve the needy every Wednesday. Meals are served warm, starting with soup at 18:00. Unlike other voluntary initiatives that serve meals to the homeless, the approach of the pasta kitchen is slightly different, says Bisogno: They aim to help the homeless find purpose in life and get a feeling of being needed.

She says before they started the kitchen they did research to discover the needs and interests of these people. “We found that for them it is important to be treated fairly and feel needed. We then came with a plan and decided that before the meals are served our committed regulars get to interact with the staff and help where necessary in exchange for their needs. We then attend to individual needs where we can, for instance we do help with documents, clothing and counselling and give moral support,” she says.

“We already have a few who have shown commitment and positive transition.”

She says they have made an effort to pitch in for their duties, looking clean and ready to work and they have opened up about their problems.

Volunteer Sarah Jayne says it is a pleasure to spend a few hours a week helping homeless people. She believes not all homeless people have chosen to be on the streets but that circumstances pushed them to the streets. She says there has been positive support from the community and the homeless are also showing interest, with the turnout growing every week.

One of the beneficiaries, Shane Gravett, says he stays between Maitland and Observatory. He says he has been looking for a job for six years with no luck and has accepted his situation. He says he has been going to the pasta kitchen because it is different from what they are used to.

Another beneficiary, Joyce Albectho, says she is from Manenberg but her situation at home forces her to search for proper food anywhere she can get it and she would not miss the opportunity to have decent food on Wednesdays, even if it means travelling for it.

There is new hope for the homeless in Observatory as Ferdinando Pizza will fill their hungry tummies.

The owner of the restaurant, Kiman Bisogno, and a group of volunteers of the Art of Living organisation joined hands to start a pasta kitchen that will serve the needy every Wednesday. Meals are served warm, starting with soup at 18:00. Unlike other voluntary initiatives that serve meals to the homeless, the approach of the pasta kitchen is slightly different, says Bisogno: They aim to help the homeless find purpose in life and get a feeling of being needed.

She says before they started the kitchen they did research to discover the needs and interests of these people. “We found that for them it is important to be treated fairly and feel needed. We then came with a plan and decided that before the meals are served our committed regulars get to interact with the staff and help where necessary in exchange for their needs. We then attend to individual needs where we can, for instance we do help with documents, clothing and counselling and give moral support.”

She says they have made an effort to pitch in for their duties, looking clean and ready to work and they have opened up about their problems.

Volunteer Sarah Jayne says it is a pleasure to spend a few hours a week helping homeless people. She believes not all homeless people have chosen to be on the streets but that circumstances pushed them to the streets. She says there has been positive support from the community and the homeless are also showing interest, with the turnout growing every week.

One of the beneficiaries, Shane Gravett, says he stays between Maitland and Observatory. He says he has been looking for a job for six years with no luck and has accepted his situation. He says he has been going to the pasta kitchen because it is different from what they are used to.

Another beneficiary, Joyce Albectho, says she is from Manenberg but her situation at home forces her to search for proper food anywhere she can get it and she would not miss the opportunity to have decent food on Wednesdays, even if it means travelling for it.

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