Danny's Diary: Forced to get creative when money's scarce
News / 29 September 2018, 10:00am / Danny Oosthuizen
The transition from living on the streets to proper housing is complex. Planning a budget that must sustain you for at least six months to a year can be tricky.
It is then that you realises every cent counts. And you kinda forget that all the small things needed add up to a big amount.
You also come to realise there are times your money is never going to be enough. Luxuries are out of the window.
My room is my sanctuary, but it needs so many things to be called a proper room. I am hunting down cheap racks or cupboards because I have none. I am forced to get creative when money is scarce.
The past few days we have been blessed with rain. The sound of water on the roof at night makes me sleep so nicely.
However, there are times I think of those outside and then I feel bitter-sweet.
I pity those still on the outside. I have to remind myself it was with sheer discipline and hard work I got to where I am now. And it will take the same effort to maintain it.
People sometimes make me wonder. I have Matric, speak five languages, lived overseas for four years and spent six months on a kibbutz, so I am not uneducated, but many people have created this image of somebody useless and dumb.
I am blessed to have people behind me cheering me on though. My editor is like a father figure. He regularly checks in on me to see how things are going. When you have people like him in your life you must pay attention and learn from them.
There were times where I got stuck in the moment and did not see a way out. I have learnt to talk about it. There is always somebody out there who will understand and guide you on the right path.
Then there are those who wait for you to mess up again. These people are toxic. Steer clear of them.
On Heritage Day (September 24) there will be a Recovery Walk. It will start at 9am on Greenmarket Square and will end at the Labia theatre at about noon.
It is free. Please join us and support those who no longer use drugs. You can even bring your dog with you for the walk.
Talking about dogs - having one has changed my life.
Like all the shopping malls, most shops and restaurants do not allow animals. Imagine! What to do?! Could this be the start of another mission for me?
* Danny Oosthuizen is the #TheDignityProject ambassador. In his weekly daily column for the Cape Argus, he tackles the struggles homeless people face. Connect with Danny on Facebook and on Twitter @masekind3213 or via email: [email protected]
** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Newspapers.