Street People Project
Renshi Andries Douglas started the Douglas Community Club, a drop in centre which serves the homeless and less fortunate with meals as much as we can supply them with. Our core concept is that the homeless should dine with the same dignity as anyone else. Their meals are served and dished up to them, just as anyone else going out for a meal. We also shift our focus to street and less fortunate kids who are in dire need of a nutritious meal. Since our main work is running a Discipline Education program, we focus on kids who has found themselves on the wrong side of law.
Through this dining experience we hope to involve our local community on a big scale, to feed the need, eradicate hunger in our own way and provide these individuals with a safe haven. As we are growing, we have been able to incorporate life skill programmes from various outlets to promote self-esteem, better communication ability and emphasize personal responsibility.
Already in place, we have a strong network of volunteers who serve and cook the homeless these much needed meals. We hope to grow this strong web of volunteers in local schools and businesses to be able to do this on a more regular basis. The community’s contribution and personal involvement in this project is essential to make it the success we dream of.
Through this we hope to create more proactive community members within our regions, direct involvement will offer a solution to these issues. To date, we are working together with the NG Church in Ceres, Charlie Hofmeyr High School, local clinics, Ceres Provincial Hospital, the Witzenberg Municipality, Cape Winelands Districts Municipality, Lupa Media and other local restaurants and businesses. People who volunteer on a regular basis, are the du Plessis family from Cape Town, Cobus, Isabel and Jean. The Louw family from Ceres, Ezelle, Antoinette, Lochner, Annie, Rozanne and Tobie. Individual donors, Elsa Joubert, Vera Alberts, Gerhard Malherbe, Elbe Woeke and many others, to whom we are so grateful. From the USA, there are sensei Dave Blazer and Christelle James. Their regular donations keep us going. At the centre, we have regular HIV/ Aids screenings that take place every 3 months. Breast Cancer awareness, Pap smear and Mammograms, Prostate cancer awareness, Anger Management programmes, Drug Awareness etc are conducted at the centre and we have two social workers on call.
We were able to give the homeless in Ceres an amazing Christmas lunch 3 years in a row, feeding 120 street people and at-risk youth living who are less fortunate. Some of our donors include: Geldenhuys Butchery, De Keur farms, Pick ‘n Pay Ceres, Hungry Lion, Môrester farm, Lupa Media, Triple One Printers, Pioneer Foods, Ceres Fruit Juices, as well as local individual donors and our karate parents who volunteered. There are amazing success stories. During the last two months, 4 men from the street were able to get into rehab, 16 got place into a shelter and so far, just in time for the cold and rainy Ceres winter, at least 3 women and 2 men were reunited with their families. We have a winter drive each year and are lucky to get regular donations in form of blankets, warm clothing, shoes, socks etc. However, there are never enough, with 87 identified street people and the number is increasing all the time. This include the mountain dwellers who live in the foothills of the Skurweberg Mountains.
All the money allocated for the Douglas Community Club, goes towards supplies to lift the homeless restaurant off the ground, as well as rent. We are in need of tons of supplies and loads or renovation costs rests on our shoulders. We have the framework, now we just need to fill in the blanks. Renshi Andries hopes to create a restaurant for the homeless which not only serve them much needed meals, but create a space in which they can find some solitude and acquire skills that might change their current situation. Should you not be able to donate money, but supplies, skills, advice or your time please contact Ezelle on firstname.lastname@example.org.