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Home offers hope for people on the street

For years the Helderberg Street People Centre has been a haven of hope for many living on the street, and will continue to be so from its new premises in Victoria Street, Somerset West.

The centre has relocated, and the new, aptly renamed Thomas House of Hope will offer stability and a solid footing for expansion, continuously fulfilling its mission to offer help and give hope.

“There was a small parade from the ‘Busy Corner’ to the new premises,” Natasha Malherbe, marketing consultant to the centre, related. “The original wooden cross that was in front of the old premises was moved to the new premises.”

The centre’s values and ethos are firmly entrenched in the Christian faith, not prejudicing anyone who reaches out for help under desperate circumstances.

It is entirely dependent on donations, with a handful of benefactors who assist. “One person donated the funds for the newly purchased and renovated premises that the centre could move into.”

Dedicated to assisting people living on the streets of the Helderberg as a registered NPO, the centre implements programmes that promote the importance of work, where clients can work in exchange for meals, clothing, toiletries and a shower.

They also assist with finding jobs and more.

“The centre is not affiliated to the night shelter and does not offer accommodation at this stage,” Malherbe pointed out. “It is dedicated to helping those in need reintegrate into society, and to provide a safe haven for those with addiction, emotional distress.”

Over the years the centre has had many success stories relating to individuals who have benefitted from the programmes on offer, and have remained steadfast and are back on their feet. Volunteers are often faced with a thankless task, but their dedication and effort are remarkable.

The centre itself has a full-time social worker and, in addition to providing spiritual and physical reprieve, it also partners with other non-profits in providing for various needs, such as collecting and delivering food and other consumables.

“The centre does amazing work,” Malherbe says, “and has been operating under the radar for a very long time. It’s a humble organisation, and I would like to help them make a little bit of a splash.”

The new centre will open its doors officially on Monday 3 June, and renovating and construction are underway.

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