Hope for the homeless

Linda Kantor Camps Bay

feel I need to share the following story with you all and hope it will open up some positive discussion around the street community in Camps Bay.

I walk my Yorkies daily around Park Avenue, The Meadway, and Van Kamp Street. About three weeks ago, as usual, I was walking my dogs around the block. I saw a man cleaning the solidly blocked drains at the corner of Park Avenue and The Meadway. I was so excited to see this and said to him, “I am so glad the council have finally come to open these drains”.The man cleaning the drains said to me, “I am not from the council, I am Joseph. I have always been taught by my mother and grandmother to work hard and keep busy.”

I was astounded as he had cleared an enormous amount of sand and litter from both drains with his bare hands. My question to myself was: “And now what?” The litter and sand were now in the gutter.

While walking on the beachfront, I came across some municipal workers who were slowly walking along the beachfront, on their cellphones while picking up the items lying around in their immediate vision. I asked them if I could have some of the bags to take to Joseph. They gave me five bags and said he must put them on the beachfront and they must not be heavy (I suppose council workers getting backache must be the reason).

I also noticed all the blue plastic bags waiting for collection on the beachfront were one quarter full.(What happens to all that blue plastic?)

To get back to Joseph, I took him the bags and again with his bare hands, put the sand and litter into the five bags, which were now full and not even enough for what he had taken out of the drain.

The bags were much too heavy to take to the beachfront. The bags remained there for at least three weeks.

I contacted our ward councillor Shayne Ramsay regarding the problem of the bags and the issue of a pothole in the pavement since September last year.

I have just checked, and the pothole fixed and bags are gone.

Well done Joseph, well done Shayne.

What do we do with our well-intentioned homeless street person Joseph?