Blu Holloway, 4, enjoys a cupcake with Elaine Rudolph from Rainbow Garden Village at the Christmas lunch, hosted for more than 600 homeless people in Church Street yesterday. Courtney Africa African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town – Christmas came early for hundreds of homeless people in the city centre when they were treated to a hot lunch and a “shopping” experience.

Volunteer-run soup kitchen, Ladles of Love, in partnership with Central Methodist Mission and other organisations, joined forces yesterday with their annual initiative.

The homeless enjoyed a meal of roast chicken, salad and potatoes, followed by a cupcake and a juice.

Entertainers provided music. The homeless were able to choose clothing from donated items and also received a gift.

The crowd then made its way to Somerset Road in Green Point to shop at the Street Store.

This was possibly the only opportunity the homeless in the city centre would have to shop for months.

They were offered clothing, shoes, blankets, accessories and hygiene products.

An overjoyed Gloria Shivambu took the opportunity to browse through the items.

“I was so confused and excited. I kept on touching the different items and comparing.

“However, people were waiting in line. I couldn’t take too long. I really appreciate this, especially now that Christmas is approaching,” she said.

The Street Store is made up of a series of printed interactive, die-cut posters, which are attached to fences in public areas, turning the pavement into a shop.

Started four years ago on the streets of Cape Town by advertising agency M&C Saatchi Abel, in partnership with the Haven Night Shelter, the Street Store is a rent-free, premises-free, free “pop-up clothing store” stocked with donations for the homeless.

The next Street Store will be hosted by the Greater Tygerberg Partner, a non-profit organisation, on Friday, on the corner of Durban and Voortrekker roads, Bellville.

This will be Bellville’s second “pop-up clothing store” for the homeless, which will transform the Voortrekker Road Corridor into a bustling marketplace.