Dignity Day Community Outreach

Inspired by World Homelessness Day, an annual global initiative, Revamp the Valley, Social Work Connect, and False Bay TVET College’s staff and students hosted Dignity Day.
The event organisers placed an editorial, in the community papers of Fish Hoek, Cape Town, appealing to residents and businesses to participate and donate.

A call was made and it was answered. The less-fortunate folks streamed in and were welcomed with a hot beverage and snack. Volunteers came too, prepared with their tools and gave Dignity Day Organisersthe destitute visitors haircuts, manicures, pedicures, medical screenings and assistance with compiling and printing of CVs.  Non-profit organisations eMzantsi Carnival and Community Cohesion held workshops; the Harlequin Foundation donated blankets and a Pop-Up Clothing Store donated clothing. The homeless were given toiletries and served a healthy buffet-style lunch.

Revamp the Valley founder Leigh Barrett said “Progress in ending homelessness can only be made by seeing the humanity of the most vulnerable people in our community and treating them with respect. We wanted to integrate the homeless into the community and help people understand how easy it was to lose everything.”

Held at the False Bay TVET College, Fish Hoek Campus the student and staff community leant a helping hand. The students hosted and engaged the visitors with fun activities like board games.

Meanwhile, JP Smith, Mayoral Committee Member for safety, security and social services, said in a statement “World Homeless Day was an opportune time to highlight the challenges street people faced. A myriad of social issues can contribute to homelessness, whether physical or mental illness; a breakdown in family ties; physical, sexual or substance abuse; unemployment and more,” Smith said. He went on to say the City of Cape Town Council has plans to do a headcount of street people in the coming months to gauge whether its intervention programmes already implemented are making a difference. The last one was in 2015.

For more information on this pilot initiative, please feel free to contact the organisers at rtv.dignityday@gmail.com.

* Revamp The Valley encourages local businesses to get involved in future events, especially where temporary, part-time or full-time jobs are available. Email Ms Barrett at valleyrevamp@gmail.com for details.