The Sheltersuit Foundation visited a group of homeless people in Cape Town and handed out their Sheltersuits which offer some protection from the elements.
Cape Town, South Africa (31 May 2020) – The Sheltersuit was developed by Bas Timmer in the Netherlands, Europe as an answer to the influx of refugees who were left homeless in a foreign place. The suit offered protection from weather that many refugees had never experienced before. As the organisation grew, they employed the very refugees they were working to save.
Soon, the suits were being made by the refugees, for refugees. As the suits got international recognition, the global foundation was established. They now work in countries across the globe; including South Africa!
“The Sheltersuit was developed as a short-term solution to a long-term problem. It does not solve the problem of homelessness and refugees seeking shelter, but it does prevent people from freezing to death on the streets. We believe that every human life counts and that is why everyone has the right to this small shelter if they need it.”
The Sheltersuit is made up of the following elements:
- Large hood
- Integrated scarf
- Lightweight and warm insulation
- Large pockets
- Strong, windproof cuffs
- Zip-fastened sleeping bag
- Wind and waterproof, yet breathable fabric
Winter is setting in and in the Western Cape, the bitter cold is accompanied by heavy rains, ice-cold storms brought in from the ocean and wind. It makes being homeless in the winter, incredibly challenging! The Sheltersuit Foundation visited a group of homeless people and handed out their Sheltersuits which will offer some protection from the elements.
The charitable element relies not only on people sponsoring suits for the homeless, but also the textile industry coming on board. The South African branch of the foundation is still starting out and could use all the support!
“All materials we work with are locally sourced leftover materials from the textile industry, that are either donated to us or we can buy for bottom prices”
The Sheltersuit Foundation shared the story of one of their recipients and it warmed our hearts! This week was their first South African-based handout and they focussed on Woodstock in the Western Cape. We look forward to seeing the foundation change lives in South Africa!
“This woman is in her forties and has been homeless for over twenty years, ten of which she has been in a wheelchair. On top of that, she has become blind a few years ago. At the time we met her, she was living in a small tent encampment with a few other people who helped her. She was so surprised by the Sheltersuit we gave her that she started crying with happiness.
“This was the first time that I ever explained the Sheltersuit to someone who couldn’t see it. We slowly went over all the different parts and details, by feeling and describing them. Her friends promised to help her out. Cape Town’s night can be pretty harsh in winter, and when you’re in a wheelchair and don’t move as much it is very difficult to stay warm. I visited her again after a few days and she told me she had tested sitting in the rain with the suit on, and how amazed she was afterwards when it had kept her this dry and comfortable.” – Bas Timmer
We were thrilled by her positive charisma and incredible smile. This zest for life is contagious. Please never stop smiling!
You can follow Sheltersuit South Africa here for more information about how to help our local homeless community.