Hamba Buya not a shelter, a home

2017-05-25 06:01
PHOTOS: omega moagiNew owner Pastor Mdu Cele in the backyard of the home.

PHOTOS: omega moagiNew owner Pastor Mdu Cele in the backyard of the home.

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WHILE clouds of controversy plagued the Hamba Buya homeless shelter previously, the new owners say that is now old news.

The shelter in Ward 20 in Marburg rural, attracted media attention three years ago when a former resident wrote a letter, sharing what she called a “shocking experience” after leaving.

She described the shelter as a “living hell” and said upon arrival the homeless people’s cellphones and possessions were confiscated and residents were subjected to very strict rules, and starvation.

New owner, Pastor Mdu Cele of Christ in You Ministries, took over last year and said he planned to turn things around.

“We will introduce various skills development programmes to develop residents and sustain the home as well as benefit the broader community of Marburg rural,” said Cele.

Sylvia Fowler, who will be running the shelter, said it would no longer be a homeless shelter, but a home for those genuinely seeking help to rebuild their lives.

“People who come in will be interviewed to make sure they will fit in with the character of the place and are not alcohol and substance abusers,” said Fowler.

The new team said they can already see a change.

“When we first got here the place was filthy, the residents were frail, some with long beards as though they didn’t even bath,” said Claudia Ncwane, the primary caregiver.

“Ever since the new owners arrived I have new hope about going out there and rebuilding my life.

“I can see light at the end of the tunnel,” said a resident who has been living at the shelter for five years.

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