Women of Hope Trust host event to help Cape homeless people
Aug 23, 2021
Cape Town - A local non-profit organisation is appealing to the public to display empathy and compassion towards the less fortunate, especially the homeless, whose plight is oftentimes misconstrued or misunderstood. Women of Hope Trust (WOHT) held a Covid-19 compliant musical fundraising event on Saturday, at Erin Hall, Rondebosch with performers Charlotte Dickson and Clarence Anderson. Founding member Munebah Derry, said the organisation founded in 2014, arranges fundraising initiatives to help and support struggling organisations and individuals. “We work with the destitute, especially homeless seniors, old age homes, shelters and children's homes as far as Malmesbury, Worcester and the latest, Tulbagh. We've been assisting families to bury their homeless family members with dignity, whether funerals or cremations are needed,” said Derry. All the proceeds from the event will go towards the Rehoming Collective, assisting the homeless. WOHT is also collecting clothing for the homeless, for when they have to attend interviews. MORE ON THIS
Previously homeless members of the Rehoming Collective shared their experiences of what it's like living on Cape Town’s harsh streets. Carin Rhoode said, “What a lot of people don't understand is that nobody chooses to be homeless. I was on the street for more than nine years and it was hell every day and every night. People rob and hurt us.”
Rhoode said her boyfriend was stabbed by drunk school children, causing his internal organs to seep out. “The SAPS say, ‘you’re not supposed to sleep outside’,” said Rhoode. “A lot of people see homeless people sleeping during the day, they have to because they have to stay up the whole night. They have to watch their possessions and if it's not gangsters harassing them, it's law enforcement. There’s always somebody stealing from us.”
During her time living on the streets, she’s had seven IDs, with law enforcement confiscating the only picture she had of her parents and her birth certificate. Chantel Samantha Sampson shared how she has now been clean from drugs for almost two years. “I am currently doing outreach work, helping other homeless people. Next year I am studying social auxiliary work,” said Sampson. WOHT member Estelle Woodman has been working with the less fortunate for more than 20 years and recounted a success story dear to her. Woodman said she was able to assist an elderly homeless woman get on the senior’s housing waiting list. “The elderly woman was raped, molested and verbally assaulted while living on the streets. Two months later, Woodman received the call that the woman’s keys were ready for collection. “She is housed in Retreat. She is happy but the sad thing is, when you go there and you knock on the door, she still peeps through the window. She is still scared to open the door. She still thinks that people will come after her to hurt her,” said Woodman. To assist WOHT, contact Derry on 061 039 8389.