Now from naked to reunited. Field workers from the City of Cape Town, with assistance from the CCID, managed to reunite a man with his family in Wesbank after living on the streets for over 10 years.
His family was overwhelmed with joy. He left home due to gangsterism.
It takes dedication, hard work and patience to build a relationship with the homeless. Trust, honesty and mutual respect do not come overnight. Some cases are easy, some very complicated. And then one finds that not everybody makes use of help offered.
Ironically, these field workers are on a contract. When it expires some do not get renewed. The new staff now have to build a relationship with the homeless. To start all over, explaining your situation to a stranger is not easy. Many refuse to. There are very few out there that take the time to engage with us. So finding a field worker who only wants the best for you is heaven-sent.
I firmly believe a field worker should not be on short-term contract. Issues do not get solved overnight. It takes a special kind of person to do this kind of work. It is not just another job. Respect for them!
Figure this: We import chicken meat all the way from Brazil that is used in making polony and other sausages infected with listeria (when I first heard the word I thought it was some kind mouthwash for gum disease!) How is it that a country like ours imports chickens? Or shall I say, chicken waste? Now that I know what polony is made of never again shall I eat it.
Another food issue is that many shops in the city have no prices on their products. Do you want to tell me the staff know all the prices of each product?
Some shops even sell expired items at discounted prices. Is there still such a thing as a health inspector?
Also, the hygiene status of some eateries is questionable.
Many vendors also do not use gloves when preparing or serving food. And now with the water restrictions, it can just get worse.
Another strange thing is that one buys hot cross buns without the cross these days.
Yes, dear reader, we are blessed in this world-class city. We have world-class cuisine, wine, real estate. Some of the best beaches in the world.
And according to a Sea Point councillor, the homeless there eat like kings out of the dust bins (funny how, after that statement, Sea Point never had an influx of homeless people).
Things are looking up.
If all else fails, the Serenity Prayer should do.
* 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.