There is a solution for the homeless - in the church!
Cape Town is currently facing a huge challenge of homelessness. However, it is not only the Mother City that is experiencing this challenge, but also numerous other towns in our region. The question is: where does the solution lie? In Cape Town alone, a place of refuge for over 10 000 people is sought (this excludes general housing shortages).
New research indicates that churches are in an excellent position to address this issue. Small groups of people, where community life can be strengthened, values can be established and integration into society can take place is the ideal. Unused buildings at churches can be used superbly for this purpose and the good news is that funds are quite possibly available for this. No financial burden is then placed on congregations. There are also certain "exit" strategies in place that ensure that it is actually just an overnight facility. The crisis that arose in the Methodist Church in Cape Town previously regarding this issue is thus avoided.
The Centre for Public Witness is currently in discussions with other churches, NGOs and the City of Cape Town about possible models that could work to address homelessness. A workshop for congregations is also planned for 9 November this year. Read an informative article on research on this challenge here.