AT Love Story we have the privilege of connecting and building relationships with most of the homeless residents of the inner city.
Through our daily feeds we interact with up to 200 homeless men, women and children in front of the City
Hall every week night and have done so for the past three years.
Every few months we do a gift handout of clothing, shoes, jackets or toiletries, and every winter we make sure that each person receives a warm blanket.
A few days ago our volunteers were told the terrible news that one of the homeless men who we had known from the very first feed, years back, had died. They found him at the train tracks and although he was ill, many were of the opinion that he had actually died of cold.
We do not know his cause of death for sure, but this story again reminded us of how little the homeless have and how difficult it is to survive on the streets. There is a public perception that if you’re on the streets you’re there by choice or because you’re addicted to a substance.
Yes, we do see this often, but this is not always the case. One cannot imagine the harsh life circumstances in some cases that have forced people onto the streets.
“We are there every night with no judgment, to love, serve and support,” says Willie Boucher, leader of the City Feed project.
Anny Britz, from Images 1 Hair Academy, has managed to collect about 250 blankets over the last few weeks through a campaign run in her salon. Sandy Zoetmulder, of News Cafe, also collected many blankets through the Coffee4Blankets campaign.
We handed out close on 300 blankets to the homeless.
-Elaine Watson, Port Elizabeth, Love Story website, www.lovestory.org.za