Initiative employs the homeless

2019-03-05 06:01
Some of the homeless people recruited by SFB in partnership with Straatwerk.

Some of the homeless people recruited by SFB in partnership with Straatwerk.

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More than 300 homeless people have been recruited in a cleaning initiative around Sea Point since August 2015.

This initiative is part of Sea Point Fresnaye Bantry Bay Ratepayers and Residents Association (FSB) and non-profit organisation Straatwerk’s plan to uplift the homeless through a series of employment and learning opportunities.

The individuals are offered access to life skills classes, bathroom and laundry facilities, job readiness programmes and compensation for cleaning shifts.

Hannes van der Merwe, manager at Ophelp Projekte (project that falls under Straatwerk), said that the vision is to reintegrate homeless people back into society.

“Our motivation behind the launch of this programme was really to empower individuals that would not normally be afforded these opportunities,” he said.

Marco van Embden, chairperson of FSB, said that he was impressed with the difference made in the lives of these individuals.

“This has made a significant impact in terms of cleanliness in our area and I look forward to seeing many more people become involved,” he said.

Beach Road and streets between it and Main Road have all been under the covered areas.

The individuals spend four hours daily picking up litter, removing graffiti and sweeping the roads.

Their (homeless) efforts see over 760 bags of garbage removed from public spaces every month.

There were over 1 200 bags in December.

“SFB plans to employ as many people as possible to help with the cleaning efforts through getting signed into a cleaning programme.

“The aim is to restore dignity and autonomy to the homeless people in the community,” Embden said.

Furthermore, he said that these individuals are motivated to save money they earn.

Embden said: “SFB also gives individuals the opportunity to save enough money to obtain identity documents.

“If individuals save R70, SFB has committed to match the money so that a document can be obtained.”V For more information email admin@sfb.org.za

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