Kelvin is rising against all odds

2018-11-20 06:01
Kelvin Nuveld.

Kelvin Nuveld.

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After two years of roaming the streets of Plumstead and Wynberg, Kelvin Nuveld has finally found his feet again.

The 42-year-old is no longer a homeless person – instead he is doing his part to help other people in the same situation he was.

Nuveld, originally from Port Elizabeth, came to Cape Town in 2006 to search for greener pastures. He lived with his girlfriend and their two children, but things did not go well.

In 2013 things became difficult and he had no job.

Before they knew it, they had lost their rented house and everything they had.

He sent his children back to his mother in Port Elizabeth and for some time he and his girlfriend felt themselves drowning in darkness as they tried to adjust to the life of being homeless and sleeping anywhere they could lay their heads.

“I knew that was not my life, I was not meant to end up in the street. It did not take me long before I started trying to earn some money again. I would work for as little as R30 a day. Life was difficult. I slowly started seeking help, taking any help that was coming my way.”

Nuveld would talk to people and ask for help. He got to know various organisations that work with homeless people and just took life one day at a time. Eventually, with the help of the Love Thy Neighbour Festival, he was able to find a job that paid him R80 a day.

“It was not much, minding that I used to work as a maintenance manager before things turned sour for me.”

However, his determination has won him his life back again. He says he has recently been offered a position as a managing supervisor at a local company based in Gardens.

His ultimate goal is to become a full-time father to his children and raise them himself in a comfortable home. His first step towards this goal was renting a place in the CBD but he says it is not suitable to accommodate a family.

Looking at his life journey, he advises the youth not to allow peer pressure to influence their decisions.

“People will come to you for the wrong reasons, wanting what you have, and tell you stuff and all the short cuts in life.”

He also advises that just because people have made mistakes, this does not mean they should dwell in pain and expect people to feel sorry for them.

He advises that people should do evert little they can to help themselves and not give up until “you can stand on your own again”.

Because Nuveld knows the struggles of being homeless and having nothing, he volunteers at different non-profit organisations including Hope Street and Hope for the Nation assisting with their soup kitchens on weekends and whenever he finds a gap in between his tight shifts.

“When you work in maintenance you have to always be available if there is an emergency, so it is not really easy for me to help as much as I would like.”

Evariste Umba knows Nuveld from the streets and says: “His change is really an inspiration for many and we are very happy seeing him helping people who are going through the same challenge he used to
experience.”

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