Opinion / 27 March 2019, 11:00am / Danny Oosthuizen
Around 5am on Monday I was awakened by the feeling of soft rain on my face. Almost like mist.
For a moment I was in a state of absolute happiness until I realised it was not a dream. I got up and moved under cover. More homeless people joined me to be out of the rain.
Even the birds that would normally be chirping away this time of the morning were quiet. I could hear cars in the distance driving through the water and their wheels splashing it to the side.
The sun struggled to break through the clouds.
Thank goodness there was no wind. The Cape Doctor, as we call it, can get nasty and wild.
The city woke up with people under umbrellas on their way to work. One lady gave a shout, My hare mince (my hair is frizzing), and we could not help but giggle at the sight of her. Totally unprepared, she was exposed, dressed in a summer outfit and sandals. And yes, her hair was in a bit of a mince.
I admired her vibrancy. In spite of it all, she had a warm smile and her body language was like she owned the neighbourhood.
There were children splashing about in water paddles. I appreciate the spontaneous fun they had. We sometimes expect children to act like adults.
They grow up too fast and are exposed to issues only adults should have to deal with. We’re robbing them of their youth. Being homeless, I have noticed that children look beyond it. They don’t judge and don’t put people in boxes. Until such time as they are told, we are different and should be left alone.
I was invited by community radio station Voice of the Cape in Salt River to come and chat about homelessness and the winter readiness programme. I think it went quite well. I was invited to come back for a follow-up as we had very little time to cover everything.
The winter readiness programme is starting in May. The logistics of it are intense, and many people are making sure we will be well looked after.
We would like to thank all the role players responsible for our well-being.
We would like to ask the public for donations, such as blankets and canned food, for The Space in Culemborg. It will also give the public the opportunity to get involved in this project and to meet the people they support. Winter clothing is in dire need, not to mention shoes and socks.
This year I know we will be fine. The people of our city are helping us to help ourselves. Work opportunities are being created and StreetScapes is starting with a project soon.
We kindly ask the public to please support the vegetable gardens run by homeless people. It started with one garden, and now there are four.
If there are any topics or questions you would like me to answer, mail me at [email protected] Let’s connect and weather this storm together.
* 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.
** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Newspapers.