Homeless clean Rocklands Beach

Cornelius Lewis and Raphael Felix who keep Rocklands Beach clean.

A homeless man has taken it into his hands to ensure that Rocklands Beach in Sea Point remains clean and inviting to visitors.

Cornelius Lewis, 68, has been living on the streets of Sea Point for years and spends his days keeping Rocklands Beach in pristine condition.

Mr Lewis said being homeless forced him to come and kill some time sitting on the beach to ponder and one day, he decided to clean up the beach after people left a mess behind.

He said a man from the area bought him some implements like a spade, a rake, gloves and refuse bags.

“I’m doing it seven days a week and I love what I do and love to see people come and enjoy a clean beach,” he said.

Mr Lewis has since taken another homeless man, Raphael Felix, 35, under his wing and together they work hard on a daily basis to keep the beach clean for no reward.

They said they’d like to motivate other volunteers along the beach to do the same and take ownership of public spaces with responsibility.

Fieldworker of the Sea Point, Fresnaye and Bantry Bay HOPE project, Kevin Alexander, described Mr Lewis as one of the homeless people with a remarkable story of recovery and a positive outlook on life in spite of his dire circumstances.

He said he is a pensioner and uses his pension to support his three minor children in Ladysmith, two girls and one boy and he is in desperate need of a sponsor or sponsors to cover shelter fees of R1150 per month.

Mr Alexander said he’s currently in the process to find shelter or a safe space for Mr Felix.

Members of the public are urged to lend a hand where possible to help the homeless through the SFB’s HOPE project, which has now raised more than R19 000.

The project aims to create a onestop hub for fieldworkers to use as a base from which to work and be accessible for the homeless to visit easily to seek assistance.

For more information on the project and to help, click here.