SOUPER Troopers celebrated seven years of active service in helping the homeless, across the City.
SOUPER Troopers celebrated seven years of active service in helping the homeless, across the City.

Souper Troopers celebrate seven years of active service in helping the homeless

By Shakirah Thebus Time of article published Jun 9, 2021

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Cape Town - From serving sandwiches and soup to more than 150 of the City’s homeless and hungry, an effort by local residents has now grown to be one of the most trusted organisations serving the holistic needs of the City’s most vulnerable residents.

Souper Troopers celebrated seven years of active service in helping the homeless, across the Western Cape. Joined by her mother and a few friends, Souper Troopers executive director Kerry Hoffman would prepare meals to be distributed at the Company Gardens once a month, and would continue to do so for a year-and-a-half.

“I'm so grateful for the love I have, and know and felt. People on the streets seemed to be neglected and alone. I wanted to share what I had and see what could happen. The connections made that day and the simplicity of sharing made me believe that it was possible to make a difference with enough citizens coming together,” said Hoffman.

“I was so blown away by the amount of connections I made in the space of two hours, that I felt the need to not make any promises, but to give a date next month that I’d come again. And every month I just kept giving a date. I never made any promises I couldn’t fulfil and always remained transparent with the troops,” said Hoffman.

Through word of mouth – selfless donations in the form of food, clothing and toiletries, as well as shared networks – efforts were sustained and expanded. For two years, meals would be distributed at the Service Dining Rooms and the Hope Exchange in Zonnebloem, for two-and-a-half years, with further outreach done on the streets.

A Souper Troopers Hunger Relief Fund was started as a response to food insecurity at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. More than 150 beneficiaries in informal settlements were provided with support to sustain community feeding schemes and soup kitchens, with R1 million raised towards the fund.

In March, Souper Troopers – with Mini Meltdown, in collaboration with Community Chest and Ladles of Love – launched the Humanity Hub, a service centre to support the homeless.

Field worker Tasneem Hussein-Fielies said: “We represent dignity, love and respect. We represent the unheard and unseen, we show love to those who are forgotten and create a family with a support system to help a person on their journey.”

Fundraising and advocacy coordinator Caryn Gootkin encouraged support through donations or by purchasing items from the Souper Troopers Souper Market online, through the website.

“Donate R150 to help a new client begin their journey with our fieldworker Tasneem on the cast model,” said Gootkin.

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