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In Krugersdorp, challenges in society are being met with a can-do attitude as The Toolbox Community Empowerment Hub gives the destitute hope with job opportunities, up-skilling help and a dose of belief:


Krugersdorp, South Africa (21 December 2023) — After doing a deep dive into the reality of destitute males in the West Rand, a big problem became clear: there are more circumstances that keep many on the streets than off them. How do you fix a problem? You create a toolbox!

The Toolbox Community Empowerment Hub is helping give the West Rand’s forgotten a future. One where they can earn instead of beg, feel accomplishment and understand the skills required to go far further than the streets.

According to the team behind the project, it’s estimated that 78% of males in the West Rand who lived on the streets for the majority of their childhoods end up homeless. A further 62% who were raised in centres don’t complete their education. And, of those who do live on the streets, 48% are estimated to experience mental breakdowns which culminate into mental illness.

What becomes obvious is that there is something missing in the space between breaking out of one life and integrating into a new one. Especially when substance abuse, limited role models and life-skills that are not always taught, play their part.

So, in 2021, the Tool Box Community Empowerment Hub began putting in the work to get men off the streets and into jobs. Back then 6 homeless men benefitted by getting into the security industry. For the 2023-2024 recap, a whole 47 beneficiaries participated in the programme across five fields:

  • Security (Hands-off)
  • Building Industry (Hands-on)
  • Agriculture and Environmental (Greenhands)
  • arts, Culture and Technology (Creative Hands)
  • Food Industry (Bakers Hands)

In each field, the beneficiaries (men, women and youth) have a chance to access an income and skills while integrating into society in a positive way during their testing phases. From there, they can be supported with training to find future work.

From the potential to become security guards to tailors,  bakers and beyond, the Toolbox Hub gives not only actionable steps to a better future, but a great belief in the beneficiaries that they will get there. Then, there are other existence-essential skills shared like budgeting.

The programme continues to grow under the Bethany House Foundation Trust, but as the number of those in need goes up, the goal is to get more businesses behind the project. Its message to everyone who wants to see the West Rand (and South Africa) flourish from the streets up, is that the homeless and those in shelters are not a lost cause. And, with the right toolbox, incredible things can happen.

Sources: Andrew Holdsworth
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About the Author

Ashleigh Nefdt is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Ashleigh's favourite stories have always seen the hidden hero (without the cape) come to the rescue. As a journalist, her labour of love is finding those everyday heroes and spotlighting their spark - especially those empowering women, social upliftment movers, sustainability shakers and creatives with hearts of gold. When she's not working on a story, she's dedicated to her canvas or appreciating Mother Nature.

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