The reality of homelessness in Woodstock

It’s no secret that there is a significant homelessness challenge in Woodstock, and on the streets of Cape Town overall. It is an ongoing issue with solutions being implemented and managed constantly as the city moves. Although this is a problem requiring a solution involving logistics, strategy and implementation, it’s imperative to remember that we’re dealing with people and not just an anonymous social issue. Each of these individuals has a story, and deserves a future. Here’s how we’re tackling it:

Abigail, our social worker, is working on a sewing project specifically for homeless women. The project will employ women living on the street to earn a weekly or fortnightly stipend for their work. This work will involve sewing and stitching items that they can then sell. We’re hoping to have it up and running by June.

To get this going we need help from the community. The premise of a community is one person, or a group of people, helping others. So we are appealing to you, our community, for financial support and donations of things like material – whether new or scraps – and sewing equipment to be used. Furthermore, we would like to extend an invitation to business owners to offer some of their time to train these women on how to market and sell the products they make.

The vision behind this project is to give these women a purpose and add value to their lives. Their lives are not just on the street. Their lives are not just going to work and returning to the streets. They need an environment to work in that’s clean and safe so that they can earn money. The greater vision is perhaps even to help them set up small businesses in future.

At WID, we believe that we can truly make a difference – more than just keeping Woodstock clean and safe – by working together. If you’d like to find out more about this project or get involved, please email us at info@wid.co.za.

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