Travelling around Cape Town one will, without a doubt, notice that there are more people living on the streets than ever before. As food prices, lack of jobs and petrol prices rise, more people are losing the places they call their homes and find themselves homeless.

My name is Richard Bolland and I’ve been working and volunteering with the homeless since 2009. From hosting community dinners, to helping people get into shelters and rehabs, to assisting with job readiness courses and applications to affordable housing, to running microsite shelters and transitional housing, to helping rolling out safe spaces and supporting homeless people in legal battles, I’ve seen the entire journey it takes to get from living on the streets to having a place to call your home.

This article is mostly objective but there is a healthy chunk of my opinions on some matters. I try, where possible, to not criticise any organisation or entity working with the homeless, but try to point out where there are shortfalls. My hope is that this will help us build better systems and strategies to help the homeless.


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