Create jobs for the homeless

Joanna Freedendal, Sea Point

I am a Sea Point resident and have been helping on a soup kitchen team for 16 months.

I am familiar with the tents and other structures erected by homeless people trying to seek shelter from the cold and rain (“Aiding the homeless”, Atlantic Sun, July 15, “The plight of the homeless”, Atlantic Sun, July 15).

While it is essential to help the people with food on a regular basis, supporting them in this way is not a long-term solution. It only provides immediate relief which, while desperately needed and must be provided, does not help them become independent and employable. It merely sustains them on the streets (many of them had jobs but lost them due to the lockdowns).

Most of them are polite and show gratitude for what we give them.

What they really need is jobs but jobs are scarce. But I have seen in Cape Town ways of making jobs and food for people – food gardens or urban farms. There are several of these running successfully around Cape Town.

To me these are practical ways of addressing the needs of homeless people because they grow basic nourishing food (vegetables) and require labour to work the ground and care for the gardens. These could also be recycle centres, which would provide further work. If run successfully, urban farms can grow enough vegetables to sell as well as feed hungry people.

I believe national, provincial and local government and large business organisations should put more money into such projects. All people should have access to the economy of this lovely country.

CCN Letters banner