Van Riebeeck Park, situated at the top of Vredehoek, is a beautiful open area giving easy access to Table Mountain. It has always been an attractive space for those on the fringes of society because of the stream that runs through the park for most of the year. The stream played an important part in the history of Cape Town as washerwomen used to walk up from the town centre to do laundry for the townspeople. In the past few years, concerns about a growing number of people living in the park led to the formation of the Friends of Van Riebeeck Park, who have developed ideas to make the park an attractive place for leisure activities. The same concerns about the rough sleepers led to a unique partnership between DPVwatch and Streetscapes: from April 2019 to February 2020, a Streetscapes auxiliary social worker spent 15 hours a week working with a small group of people living in the park. Through this targeted intervention, it was hoped that ways in which our community could impact positively on the rising levels of homelessness in our area would be identified.

To read about the VRP pilot project, please follow the link below. The report outlines what was achieved, gives some background to homelessness in general as well as in our area specifically. Details of the organisations involved, resources and activities, and lessons learned are provided.

DPV Outreach has arisen out of the pilot –by focussing on one hotspot, valuable lessons were learned and we are excited to have the opportunity to take the Outreach initiative further. We invite you to join us in helping the people experiencing homelessness in our area to rebuild their lives.