South Africa is home to approximately 200,000 street homeless people, according to a recent estimate by the Human Sciences Resource Center, a significant portion of the nation’s population of 53.5 million (Rule-Groenewald et al., 2015). Members of the street community come from a variety of backgrounds, and this group is quite diverse in many ways. The structural causes of homelessness, housing shortage, unemployment, and rapid urbanization are some of the most pertinent.
According to the General Household Survey released by Statistics South Africa, 13.6% of the South African population lives in informal dwellings. Jobs are similarly difficult to find. The most recent estimate from Statistics South Africa indicates that the employment rate in the nation is 39.
Miriam Tembe, a researcher participating in a homelessness research collaboration known as the Homeless Summit, observed that many street members have difficulty accessing food, sanitation, and safety.
Homeless people are yet facing more challenges as a result of COVID-19.
United Way South Africa (UWSA), in collaboration with the City of Jo’burg (CoJ), Department of Social Development and Meals on Wheels have developed measures to address issues faced by homeless Men, Women and Children during this health crisis.
We are working to provide nutritional food, water, hygiene and sanitation products, warm clothing and blankets, educational toys, books, games etc.
For us to be able to provide food donations, In-kind and our time to the homeless and displaced people that are living in shelters and camps set by government, we’re calling on individuals, corporate companies, other non-profit organisations and the public at large to assist with cash donations and In-kind contributions.
People have observed that many street members have difficulty accessing food, sanitation and hygiene and are responding positively; like:
Christine & Fritz:
“Christine & Fritz, who are a Dutch couple who are downsizing after being in their home for more than 35 years, Fritz had a stroke and is bedridden. He is an avid reader and he donated his beloved books so someone else can drive pleasure and escapism from them. Christine, who is an avid cook, donated many of her cookery books.
Together there are more than 100 novels and cookbooks history books in pristine condition which they hope will bring some joy and to those who have been neglected and forgotten. The distribution of their books will be to school libraries, old age homes, and to one of our partner non-profits’ MEALS ON WHEELS HADDON, who do a tremendous amount of cooking for the underserved communities.”
Laurie-Ann Leew Family:
"When I first received the flyer about the clothes donations I knew I could make a small difference in someone's life by helping with the clothes if I could have done more I would have, I pray that God will bless United Way South Africa for helping the needy and giving me the opportunity to be a blessing as well God Bless."
The Deljion Family:
"My family and I are blessed. We have never needed for anything but we know and understand that is not the case for so many people in and around our community.
We have been raised to know that giving is better than receiving. Using our own good fortune to help others is a part of our belief system. We feel a sense of duty to give back to our community.
We would like our children to grow up with the same values, for that reason, we try to help wherever we can, whenever we can."
Lilian V. Samuels:
“What prompted me to donate clothes to Live United? Well, before Covid19 and the lockdown I've had the urge to clear out my cupboards and declutter my life.
But because of my busy lifestyle I just never had the time to get into it. Being in lockdown provided the perfect opportunity but still I was reluctant to start, until I received a WhatsApp message requesting clothes to be donated to the homeless shelters.
I was convicted knowing that I had surplus clothing that I was not wearing and that in a shelter somewhere someone had a need...now that kicked me into gear. I shared the request on several WhatsApp groups and I am pleased to say that I had quite a few ladies joining me in decluttering and blessing others in need.
I am honored and feel privilaged to have been able to put, not just a piece of clothing on someone's back, but help restore dignity, pride and put a smile on their faces. May God richly bless you'll for what you doing and continue taking you'll from strength to strength and from glory to glory.
Kingdom Blessings Always
You can be part of the change, Give to the United Way South Africa COVID19 FUND today!
About United Way South Africa (UWSA)
United Way South Africa (UWSA) is a non-profit organisation that unites and connects all sectors of the society – communities, businesses, non-profit organisations and government - to create long term social change. United Way South Africa fights to improve Education, Income and Health in vulnerable communities in South Africa.
In times of crisis we’ve always risen to our challenges as a nation. We are facing the unprecedented COVID-19 virus and while we are all concerned about our own futures, United Way’s community-based model addresses our most vulnerable needs in our communities.
Unprecedented crisis calls for unprecedented, collective measures! We know that together we can create sustainable impact in lives for this critical work which addresses the health, food insecurity and economic challenges resulting from this global pandemic.
We want to thank you in advance for the work you are doing. Your commitment to our mission is felt through your continued work. You’re bringing your communities together to respond in an unprecedented way.
Together, we can LIVE UNITED.