Date project started:
1 December 2017
Aim of project and outcomes

This project entails a street store for the homeless people facilitated by the GTP with the aim of creating social awareness in giving homeless people a decent shopping experiences. This project also aims to help build linkages towards a more integrated service offering across the board of poverty alleviation, skills development and social development in the region.

Homelessness and poverty isn’t a uniquely Capetonian problem. It isn’t even just a South African problem. It’s world-wide. People move past homeless individuals without ever connecting. This project aims to change this by bringing the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ together at a temporary meeting point to break through a deep-set of social stereotypes.

Our focus is on giving people a HAND-UP, not a HAND-OUT, by offering further support such as social development in order to rebuild and uplift the needy.
The Greater Tygerberg Partnership (GTP) worked with VRCID, MES, TASP, the Haven Night Shelter and Elim Night Shelter to change the way people relate to the homeless in our area.

The objectives of the project is to:

  • Restore dignity to the homeless
  • Provide a low-pressure environment for stakeholders and volunteers to assist the homeless with finding shelter, accessing social support, rebuilding relationships, reuniting with their families, overcoming employment and developing new skills
  • Change our community’s perception of the homeless
Brief description of project

The Street Store is an international concept that has been successfully replicated 700 times around the world. It is also endorsed by the City of Cape Town as part of the Give Responsible initiative, as it fosters a sense of love, care and togetherness, without perpetuating homelessness.

The Street Store was designed to be a structured and controlled event, lasting three hours.
The Street Store will be Bellville’s first rent-free, premises-free, no-cost “pop-up clothing store” for the homeless, which will transform the Voortrekker Road Corridor into a bustling marketplace. People making donations literally hang their clothes through a gap in the poster, and drop their shoes onto our specially designed flat boxes. The homeless can then come and browse through the clothes, and help themselves.

The focus was on homeless people who are registered at one of the involved social development organisations but newcomers was also assessed and referred appropriately. Each shopper received a Street Store loyalty card which allows them to shop at the store.

On Friday, 1 December 2017 from 10:00am – 14:00pm, the GTP facilitated a one-day pop-up Street Store along the Voortrekker Road in Bellville.

In the build-up to the event, the GTP collected almost 800kg (73 black bags) of clothes and more than 100 pairs of shoes. The reaction of the community towards this project was overwhelming. We had to close donations early as we could not cope with the amount of clothing received. The generosity did not end there, Washtub Industrial Laundry offered to wash and press all the clothing received at a minimal cost saving over R10, 000 in the process. All leftover clothing was donated to the local shelters and community centres for redistribution. The Facebook post received more than 800 likes and more than 500 shares.

Project outcomes

This project created a platform for engagement between homeless people, GTP, VRCID and MES. Strengthening the connection between people and the places they share, it also refers to a collaborative process by which we can shape our public realm in order to maximize shared value, more than just promoting better urban design, The Street Store facilitates creative patterns of use, paying particular attention to the physical, cultural, and social identities that define a place and support its ongoing evolution.


Voortrekker Road Corridor