Winter is the time of year when Capetonians take every opportunity to laze around in our warm beds. We even go as far as cancelling plans to hibernate longer under the covers. But what about those who have no safe, dry place to call home and no warm bed at all, who spend their days roaming the streets and begging for enough to pay for a bed at a shelter for the evening?
The Haven Night Shelter, a local non-profit organisation with shelters around the Mother City, is allowing those who can afford it to buy a bed for a homeless person for five days – for just R60 – with its “Buy A Bed” campaign.
“We started the Buy A Bed campaign to make The Haven Shelters more accessible for people living on the streets. Most homeless people know that they have to pay shelter fees starting from R12 per night,” the organisation said. “These shelter fees are not a goal itself but more that homeless adults learn to take responsibility again. Sometimes homeless people use that as an excuse not to come to the shelter.”
The Haven Night Shelter was established in 1978 in Cape Town, and was registered as an NPO in 2000.
“With the Buy A Bed campaign, we encourage the community to cover their shelter fees for the first 5 nights and help us to be a sustainable organisation. The campaign is especially for a homeless person with no income. We have more than 2 500 new clients per year,” the NPO said.
The NPO also employs staff to help the homeless off the street and aid them in returning to a home. These steps include logging a homeless person in a City of Cape Town database, which can be used to find the details of the homeless person’s family.
Provided their details are logged, the shelter will then find ways to get the homeless person back to them, as well as make travel arrangements. This, however, is dependent on the availability of funds.
To buy someone a bed for five days, click here.