Cape Town, 15 May 2019: While many people have homes with heating to warm their rooms, thick duvets to snuggle up with in bed and hot home-cooked meals to enjoy on cold winter’s nights, those who are sleeping on the streets or too poor to feed their families don’t have the same luxury. Providing homeless people and the poor with support is important throughout the year, but more so during the bleak winter months.
The immediate cause of homelessness and poverty varies as widely as the individuals who find themselves without shelter or resources. Among the many causes are illness, injury, business failure, loss of a job, chemical addiction, mental illness, or a falling out with family. According to the Western Cape government, it’s estimated that there are about 4 862 homeless people in the greater Cape Town area and an estimated 700 live in the central business district (CBD).
Kerry Hoffman, Director of Souper Troopers, a non-profit organisations that assists people experiencing homelessness says “The idea of making a difference can be overwhelming for some people. And this is one of the biggest hurdles in the homeless crisis but campaigns like this Winter Appeal allows everyone to make a difference.”
The Winter Appeal campaign is also calling for donations of Kosher non-perishable and canned foods for vulnerable members of the Cape Town Jewish community who rely on food security from the Jewish Community Services Food Bank. “It is terrible that every community in South Africa has it share of vulnerable members who go hungry or homeless. The Cape Jewish community is no different. We are fortunate however, that the Jewish Community Services has a food bank providing dry kosher food to ensure that there are as few hungry people in our community as possible. The food bank relies solely on donations. So we appeal for people to add an extra can of food to their grocery trollies and help keep tummies full this winter. The Winter Appeal is a way of knowing that someone else will benefit from your generosity.”
The Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID), which works with several NGS partners to improve the lives of street people in the CBD, supports the campaign. Says Pat Eddy, manager of the CCID’s Social Development department: “The campaign gives people an opportunity to show they care about the lives of those who are less fortunate, especially during the winter months when life on the street is very hard. He concludes, “Making a contribution, however small, goes a long way to supporting the dignity of the homeless.”
Donated goods can be dropped off at the Cape SAJBD, 87 Hatfield Street, Gardens or with the Union of Jewish Women at 7 Albany Rd, Sea Point.