“We, homeless and homed people, have a plan to initially reduce and eventually eradicate chronic homelessness,” Carlos Mesquita writes. Picture: African News Agency(ANA)
“We, homeless and homed people, have a plan to initially reduce and eventually eradicate chronic homelessness,” Carlos Mesquita writes. Picture: African News Agency(ANA)

We, the homeless and homed people, have a plan to eventually eradicate homelessness

By Carlos Mesquita Time of article published Jul 15, 2021

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Another week of running around trying to get to everyone and everything needing my attention.

Our negotiations about our House went well and our Homes not Handcuffs campaign petition had reached 5000 signatures. All good.

Also paying dividends, was our Homeless not Voteless campaign which we extended to include the registration of homeless people for the Covid-19 vaccination, which also requires an ID.

Hope Exchange director Reverend Annie Kirke has been hard at work getting both the Home Affairs and Health departments to respond to her call and on Monday morning we welcomed Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo to the Hope Exchange, with the media.

Ward 115 councillor Ian MacMahon, was also present. He called me “our latest movie star”, probably due to my having appeared in four programmes, including Carte Blanche in the past couple of days. Even the MEC recognised me from Carte Blanche.

Yesterday saw the launch of the Rehoming Collective Mandela Day Challenge which will benefit, not only the Rehoming Collective but also Our House and Shac.

They are looking to raise funds for upliftment and empowerment projects as well as for the Homes not Handcuffs and Homeless not Voteless campaigns and also funds to open up the Homeless Hub, a referral service for homeless people by homeless people.

All three campaigns are aimed at furthering the cause of rehoming the homeless with dignity.

On July 18 we will introduce you to 67 homeless individuals who will record 67 seconds or write 67 words to describe their experience of being homeless.

In response we are inviting the homed public to donate R67 towards our initiative to rehome the homeless with dignity and in so doing join in the conversations.

We, homeless and homed people, have a plan to initially reduce and eventually eradicate chronic homelessness.

We recognise that we will always face the challenge of poverty and social inequalities which contribute to homeless, but it is our endeavour to ensure that in 10 years’ time people landing up on the streets will be identified and assisted swiftly by a holistic network of services providing rapid intervention and continuous prevention.

To achieve this we, the public need to commit, we need the City to commit, we need provincial government to commit, we need business to commit and we need the homeless to commit. Together, we can re-home the homeless with dignity.

* Carlos Mesquita and a handful of others formed HAC (the Homeless Action Committee) that lobbies for the rights of the homeless. He also manages Our House in Oranjezicht, which is powered by the Community Chest. He can be reached at [email protected]

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.

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