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At Village n Life, we pride ourselves in being involved in various community projects and to lend a helping hand where we can. Our ethos centers around helping our community – be it our immediate community in our staff, or the broader community.

Recently, we had the opportunity to back a wonderful new initiative that aims to help homeless people in our community. We are so appreciative of the people behind this initiative and proud to help where we can.

The Camps Bay Social Initiative was started in March this year under the umbrella of the Camps Bay Community Police Forum, and specifically by Alan Marsh, Vice Chairman of the Camps Bay Police Forum alongside Theresa Massaglia of Tesoro Training & Information. In her own capacity, Theresa has had extensive experience in community development, empowerment and transformation and has worked with Sir Richard Branson in various South African townships.

The aim of the initiative is to reach out to the countless homeless people in the community and help them to transform their lives.

The aim is to place these people in a safe space and give them employment opportunities. The group will also help with the funding of ID documents for those individuals who don’t have any proof of identification. This is graciously done with the help from Camps Bay and Clifton ratepayers.

The DSD Team, Law Enforcement Inspector William Boonzaaier, Alan Marsh of CB CPF & Elma Filmalter of the ACVV alongside others.

As for the children who unfortunately end up homeless and on the streets, the group specifically helps with placing them back with their families where possible or into safe care. They also help them with their development in different aspects, including education, sport and even yoga and meditation.

The DSD Team, Law Enforcement Inspector William Boonzaaier, Louise McArdle of The Bay Hotel & Alan Marsh of the CB CPF alongside others.

There are several role players involved in the initiative, including The Homestead Projects for Street Children, the City of Cape Town Department of Social Development and Mr. Peter Cookson, the Camps Bay & Clifton Security Initiative, the Camps Bay Business Forum, SAPS and local law enforcement, as well as Village n Life and specifically The Bay Hotel.

Ward 54 councillor, Nicola Jowell, is also a supporter of the initiative.

In addition to all these wonderful people and groups supporting this initiative, the group is currently in talks with several other organisations such as Street Smart, The U Turn Ministries and The Department of Sport.

Thus far, the team from the Department of Social Development, with the help of the group, have allocated 38 places and work opportunities for the displaced adults in Camps Bay. In the last week alone, they have placed 9 people, which has resulted in more people being interested in joining the others. The group also assures that mothers and babies will be placed in safe spaces together, so as to avoid being separated.

As for what the future holds, the idea is to hold an IMBISO once a month in Camps Bay, where the various role players will be present and sit together with the displaced people. They will then discuss the various issues and concerns and lend a helping hand wherever they can. At these meetings the people also receive warm coffee and a hearty lunch.

Village n Life and The Bay Hotel are proud to be a part of this wonderful initiative, and incredible grateful for the amazing work that this group does for their community.

If you would like to get involved with the initiative, please feel free to comment on this article.

Ed note: Special thanks to Louise McArdle at The Bay Hotel and Alan Marsh for their contribution and information for this article.

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