This year I am going to be ‘HOMELESS FOR CHRISTMAS’

Cape Town- 161222 - Homeless people living under Lansdown Bridge spoke about how they ended up on the streets and how they would be spending Christmas In pic, Ashley Julies -Reporter- Luletu -Photographer-Tracey Adams

Cape Town- 161222 - Homeless people living under Lansdown Bridge spoke about how they ended up on the streets and how they would be spending Christmas In pic, Ashley Julies -Reporter- Luletu -Photographer-Tracey Adams

Published Dec 14, 2022


I want to show communities how they can help in our quest to end chronic homelessness by taking those first but very important steps in this process.

I am inviting the public, politicians, church leaders and a few friends who, like me, have actually lived on the streets, to come and visit areas in which I stayed as a homeless man on Christmas Day.

We will be handing out essential care packages as a neighbourly gesture to those living on the streets to let them know that their community cares about them.

I will also use this opportunity to launch EVERYBODY COUNTS, which is a community centred campaign to get homeless communities counted and assessed by those with lived experience.

The data to be collected will be crucial if we are to make the right decisions going forward in providing the required services to those living on the streets.

I am hoping ward councillors and service providers to the homeless will take note, and look to join us as we will try and arrange similar events throughout Cape Town during the first half of next year as the first step to end chronic homelessness: quantify and qualify.

A sense of inclusivity and accurate data is the best starting point.

Anyone is welcome to join me on Christmas Day at any point of my visits.

I will start off at the Cape Town Civic @ 10am and move towards the Culemburg safe spaces, to those still living outside these safe spaces, outside the train lodge and under the bridges.

From there by around 10.30am we should be at the Castle and surrounding areas.

By 12pm we will be in Green Point at the traffic department and those still living on the streets around the Haven Night Shelter in Napier Street.

By 1.30pm, we should be at the Three Anchor Bay Developmental Tennis Academy, which is opposite the Sea Point police station, to visit the now notorious Tent City and surrounding encampments.

By 2.30pm, we will speak with those living on the streets of Sea Point in and around the promenade.

By 4pm I hope to be at the Observatory “greens” to speak to that community.

Ends: 5pm.

Although anyone can join me unconditionally on Christmas Day, I am appealing to individuals, businesses, churches and clubs that can, to please help me make this a successful day to help motivate communities, organisations and councillors to come on board next year and ensure that everybody counts!

This is giving responsibly, it is giving dignity, it is a gift that will keep on giving and you have full oversight of how it is being put to good use by joining me on this journey.

Not only will it help cover the costs of the care packages, which include 15 items: nail clippers, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, wet wipes, sanitary pads, razor, pair of socks, peanut butter, can of baked beans, bottled water, health bar, plasters and a face cloth; the donations received will also cover a stipend and meal for the homeless and previously homeless individuals who will be enumerating and doing the assessments.

Donations can be made via the Back a Buddy page: Homeless for Christmas, or via TymeBank: CM Homeless Consultant & Homeless Solutions.

Business Account no: 5300 1069 559 ref Homeless for Christmas.

* Carlos Mesquita.

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.

Cape Argus

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