Port Elizabeth residents have started reaching out to the city’s homeless – paying for meals out of their own pockets.
One of them – the Central 4 Jesus initiative headed by Shaun Krummeck, 34 – is an example of such a project.
It started when Krummeck contacted a group of friends to help feed the masses of destitute people he had noticed in the Central area.
The group, which serves soup from 6pm on Thursdays on the intersection of Park Drive and Rink Street, has grown to include a church service on Sundays at a church next to The Spotted Cow in Parliament Street.
“It seems there has been an influx of homeless people in the city. I’ve spoken to some who say they came to the city to work, but lost their jobs and now have nowhere to go,” he said.
His project, which is funded out of the pockets of group members and small contributions and donations, feeds between 50 to 60 people a week.
“We are all just very passionate about uplifting the area and also working with other organisations to find people who want to change their current situation, getting them training and jobs.”
Central residents are no strangers to projects like this with the area around the Rink Street Horse Memorial also used as a soup kitchen every Sunday.
Friends Rene Betts, 48, and Perch Kapp, 51, started the Horse Memorial soup kitchen last year.
They had collected blankets as part of a national project to keep the homeless warm last winter. The pair thought it would be nice to give them something to eat during the handover, but it did not end there.
“The people were just so hungry and so grateful we could not make it a onceoff thing like we planned,” Betts said.
They now give out bread and soup to between 50 and 100 people every Sunday at 4pm, using donations from friends and family to keep them going.
“We would love to do so much more, and could do so much more if we had the funding,” Betts said.
Both organisations are open to donations to help feed the destitute and assist in getting people off the street.