The Homestead Intake Shelter
The Homestead is an intake shelter in District Six – a place where we can engage children who are looking for something better, who want to sleep off the streets, and are ready for more structure and the opportunity to return to non-formal schooling at Learn To Live (a bridging programme for street children run by the Salesian Institute).
Admission criteria are simple: one has to be a street child and under 16. They are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and operate on an open door principle – no child is forced to stay if he does not want to be there.
The building that now houses this project was initially planned as an overnight shelter for those children who found even the few simple rules of the intake shelter in New Church Street too difficult.
But in the event, those who came did not leave in the morning: the night shelter was claimed as a home. The children (like all children everywhere) were looking for permanency, safety, security and structure, and we were happy to agree. The building is now the intake shelter – a bit too small, not enough space for indoor recreation, but a happy and noisy place where children are accepted despite their sometimes challenging behaviour.
Cape Quarter Spar recently used the Mandela Day celebrations as an opportunity to raise funds to assist the Homestead Shelter. With pancake stations setup across the Cape Quarter shopping centre, locals flocked to bake, buy and prepare pancakes in aid of this great cause. The end of the day saw over 100 litres of pancake mixture used (and sold) with a grand total of R7622 raised and donated to the shelter.
Leonard Labuschagne, General Manager of Cape Quarter Spar had this to say: “Overall we had a fantastic turnout for a truly memorable day in aid of a great cause. We’re committed to helping the local community and we’ve all agreed that this will be the start of many more charity initiatives to come.”