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Streetscapes NPO working hard to give a fresh start to people living on the streets

Streetscapes in Vredehoek working with homeless people, creating food gardens and selling the vegetables. It also provides other activities, such as yoga classes. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)

Streetscapes in Vredehoek working with homeless people, creating food gardens and selling the vegetables. It also provides other activities, such as yoga classes. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)

Published May 11, 2022

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Cape Town - Streetscapes Community Projects is a non-profit organisation dedicated to providing work opportunities for street people in areas such as the CBD, Woodstock, Vredehoek and Kuils River.

It is not a handout but rather a hand up, where street people have the opportunity to work and earn an income. It gives them a fresh opportunity to be motivated to work and rebuild their lives.

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Director Jesse Laitinen said the project was born out of necessity. The City had no dedicated programmes to deal with the numerous arrests of street people, so Streetscapes covered a gap in the services programme.

“It was a participatory process. We needed a response to the arrests made of street people in 2014 due to behavioural issues.

“The process involved asking people what they would like to do, as the work we do is work-based rehabilitation. The project officially started on February 8, 2015,” she said.

The organisation’s work and its base has grown exponentially over the years – from 30 street people to more than 120 working on their projects.

Laitinen said the response was always positive, as people showed they wanted to actively make a change in their own lives.

“People are happy to join, mainly for income. We have low-barrier entry and look at long-term wellness. We usually try to help people who have been on the street for over five years, either due to substance abuse, neglect or alienation.

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“The programmes are built with their needs in mind, and we work hard to change something in their lives,” she said.

Some of the projects include organic gardens, vegetable and chicken farming, cleaning services such as street and park clean-ups, and waste management. A recycling station has also been set up in the city.

Join the Cape Argus Starfish Project by emailing your full name, address and contact details to [email protected]

[email protected]

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Cape Argus

The Cape Argus Starfish project aims to help encourage young people to steer away from crime. The project offers a platform for individuals and organisations to tell our readers what they do to empower the youth, and to share their knowledge. Email us at [email protected]

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