Homeless and hopeless: Sleeping on the street


A group of homeless migrants share their experiences with researchers from the African Center for Migration and Society at a car park on Prinsloo Street, Pretoria
Photo image: Jackee Budesta Batanda

Every morning several homeless people flock to the Tshwane Leadership Foundation for breakfast at 8am. Breakfast time is a good time to meet with them.

Stephen Themba, a social worker at the foundation, has organised the meeting with some of the men. My colleagues and I are here to listen to the personal narratives of the homeless men in order to understand what their needs are. The meeting is part of a broader research on the needs and vulnerabilities of the homeless.

The foundation offices were busy when we arrived. We were ushered through to the dining area, where the tables were filled with cabbages and other vegetables that due to be prepared for the evening meal.

The meeting was to take place at one of the dining tables. We waited for over an hour but no one came to the table for the session.

At 10am, Themba and my colleague Aline went out to the streets to try and convince a group of eight to 10 homeless men to speak to us.

Read more: Mail&Guardian

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