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SA Lifestyle Community

Winter the bleakest time for the homeless

  • CommunityWinterAppeal
Supporting the poor and homeless is important throughout the year, but never more so than in winter.
by OWN CORRESPONDENT | May 30, 2019

You may have a home with heating, thick duvets to snuggle up to, and a hot, home-cooked meal on a cold winter’s night. However, those sleeping on the streets, or who are too poor to feed their families, don’t have the same luxury.

The reasons for homelessness and poverty vary as widely as the individuals who find themselves without shelter or resources. Among them are illness, injury, business failure, loss of a job, chemical addiction, mental illness, or a falling out with family members.

According to the Western Cape government, there are about 4 862 homeless people in the greater Cape Town area, an estimated 700 of which live in the central business district (CBD).

Kerry Hoffman, the director of non-profit organisation Souper Troopers, says, “Making a difference can be overwhelming for some people. Campaigns like this winter appeal allow everyone to do so.”

The winter appeal is also calling for donations of kosher non-perishable and canned foods for vulnerable members of the Cape Town Jewish community who rely on the Jewish Community Services Food Bank for food.

“We are fortunate that 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. Because it relies solely on donations, we appeal to people to add an extra can of food to their grocery trollies, and help keep tummies full this winter.”

The winter campaign is supported by the Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID), which works with several government partners to improve the lives of street people in the CBD. Says Pat Eddy, the manager of the CCID’s social development department, “The campaign gives people an opportunity to show that they care about the lives of those who are less fortunate, especially during the winter months when life on the street is very hard. Making a contribution, however small, goes a long way to support the dignity of the homeless.”

  • Donated goods can be dropped off at the Cape South African Jewish Board of Deputies, 87 Hatfield Street, Gardens, or the Union of Jewish Women, 7 Albany Road, Sea Point.

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