The power of social media can change lives and one South African is doing everything he can with his social media to help a fellow Capetonian.
Alain Fleischmann recently moved to an apartment in Seapoint, one of Cape Town’s most affluent and densely populated suburbs, situated between Signal Hill and the Atlantic Ocean.
After moving in, Fleischmann noticed that there was a homeless man sleeping in a cove under his balcony every night. The space was just off the street and out of view from most.
Fleischmann approached the homeless man and decided that he would help him with whatever he could. Fleischmann learnt that his name was Martin Daniels and also that he had extensive experience in the hospitality industry, as a chef, a barman and a waiter.
Fleischmann gave him a duvet, blankets, clothing and some food to help him keep warm through the harrowing Cape Town winter nights.
“Upon moving in I knew I couldn’t live with myself being all warm and comfortable while he was sleeping beneath us without a blanket or duvet.”
The body corporate at Fleischmann’s apartment have complained numerous times but the reality is that Daniels has no other option. He has no where to go.
Homelessness is a serious problem in South Africa.
There are, according to the release of a recent study, more than 8 000 homeless people just in the Cape Town.
The study found that most living on the streets were more likely to be male, between the ages of 25 and 45 years old and native to Cape Town.
The majority of homeless have been living on the streets for more than a year because of a variety of reasons such as losing their house, unemployment, or a lack of family support.
The day of the average Cape Town homeless person consisted on waking up at around 5:30am to start packing up and hiding their belongings, walking to areas where they would spend their day trying to make money, and then returning to their sleeping spots at around 6:30pm.
After a couple of weeks Fleischmann and Daniels formed a friendship. Daniels never asks for anything other than some hot water on occasion to make himself some tea.
“After a couple of times of boiling the kettle for this guy, one morning I found 2 boxes of Chinese blooming tea on my balcony which he obviously threw up as a thank you for boiling water for him.”
Fleischmann posted a status on Facebook asking all his friends and followers to help Daniels in any way possible.
“All this man wants is a job which he explained to me last night while asking me for hot water, and if I would read some of his poetry (which he recites to himself every now and then in the evening).”
“If anyone out there can point him in the right direction, or offer this man a job I honestly think we can change this mans life.”
“Hopefully with enough sharing, we can all pull together and change one mans life.”
The post has been shared hundreds of times with some people even offering Daniels jobs and a place to stay. These offers still need to come to light but it does give hope to this dire situation.
Fleischmann is also helping put together a CV for Daniels. To help in anyways, contact Alain here or call him on 0817284560.