Streetscapes is an organisation in Cape Town that is building inner city vegetable gardens to create small income streams for the homeless, creating purpose!
Streetscapes currently has 3 garden projects in the the works. The focus is to create work opportunities for the chronically homeless. 77% of participants in the project have since moved off the streets thanks to the income they earn from the project. 68% of the participants have addressed their substance abuse issues in a very positive way.
It is a ‘hand-up’, not a handout. Work provides income, dignity and cross-race cross-class contacts – beyond their immediate community. Big part of poverty is lack of social networks needed for navigating out of poverty. Streetscapes demonstrates that people living on the streets are highly motivated to work and rebuild their lives.
Khulisa Social Solutions started Streetscapes to help uplift members of the homeless community and petty offenders that have been released. They work closely with the police and the magistrates court to help petty offenders get a second chance working in vegetable gardens.
There are 3 gardens and a few other projects to date. The government has also started investing in the idea as they have seen the positive outcomes of the project.
Streetscape Roeland Street Garden – 350 square meters of land produces locally organic, affordable food for the residents in the city.
Streetscape Trafalgar Garden – 600 square meters producing organic vegetables to restaurants in the city.
Streetscape Foreshore Garden – 5000 square meter organic garden opening in 2017 in partnership with Central City Improvement District and City of Cape Town.
The organisation teamed up with Trafalgar high school, the school runs a brilliant composting programme, which makes compost out of organic waste. The programme wants to start a new project in 2017, making artisanal soaps out of herbs, oils and botanicals from the gardens.