DPVO Newsletter – 9 December 2021

It was nice to meet you!

Thank you to all who popped in at the DPV Outreach Meet & Greet at the Streetscapes Rugley Road garden on Saturday 4 November! Thandi, the Streetscapes Social Auxiliary Worker at Rugley Road, reported that the garden made a month’s worth of sales in a single day. We think this is terrific and look forward to creating more opportunities and thoughtful conversations together.

A big thank you to:

  • Community members Jan and Zac, from Kingdom Hall, who organised a plug point for us,
  • Wongama from Department of Coffee,
  • Stefan, a neighbour who lives on the street in Gardens, for bringing beautiful artwork to sell,
  • and, of course, the Streetscapes team!

Missed the Meet & Greet? You can read more about the event on our website and check out an article featuring DPV Outreach on News24!

We encourage you to continue to support the Streetscapes Rugley Road Garden by purchasing freshly picked, seasonal veggies at very affordable prices! The opening hours are:

  • Monday through Friday: 8am – 3:30pm
  • Saturday: 10am – 12pm

DPV Outreach Meet and Greet

Cleaning the streets in DPV

In our first newsletter, we mentioned that Streetscapes, in partnership with the City of Cape Town, received 60 stipends from National Treasury through the Public Employment Programme. All members of our community – both housed and unhoused – are benefiting from this initiative.

In Devil’s Peak and Vredehoek, 12 of the new Streetscapes employees, several of whom currently live in public spaces in our area, have started by cleaning the gutters, pavements, and parks in the neighbourhood. The workers and the supervisors wear reflective bibs with name tags.

Please do say hello and, if you can, top up their water bottles when you see them, especially as the weather is getting warmer. You can also donate refillable water bottles directly to the teams or at the Streetscapes Rugley Road Garden. Thanks to those who have supported them so far!

After two months of successful operation of the new Public Employment Programme, which Streetscapes has been funding out-of-pocket, the contract between the City of Cape Town and Streetscapes has still not been signed. Negotiations about the contract are taking longer than expected: DPV Outreach hopes that these issues will be resolved as quickly as possible so that the programme is not put at risk.

You can see photos of the teams’ handiwork on our website. And if you have any ideas about what else you would like them to tackle, please drop us an email!

DPV Outreach Streetscapes Street Cleanup Vredehoek

Did you know?

Trauma-informed response is an approach that acknowledges the impact of trauma in a person’s life. Streetscapes uses this approach with their clients, including homeless DPV neighbours who have experienced trauma. This means:
🦺 Creating an environment with a sense of safety

💡 Understanding the behaviour of their clients as coping strategies designed to survive hardship and overwhelming circumstances (such as childhood abuse or current domestic violence)

☮️ Responding appropriately, without re-traumatising a person
💬 Asking “What happened to you?” rather than “What is wrong with you?” when symptoms of trauma arise
Streetscapes’ trauma-sensitive culture means that, as an organisation, it prioritises clients’ choices and control over recovery. The team strives to be safetrustworthycollaborative and empowering.

What would it look like for our neighbourhood to commit to trauma-informed responses to community members who are experiencing homelessness?

(Source: Jesse Laitinen, Streetscapes)

Success Story: The couple on the corner

Many residents know of the couple who lived near the 4-way stop on Upper Buitenkant Street for years. In 2019, they approached Khulisa Social Solutions’ Streetscapes programme to ask for work. Robert* was taken on and has been employed by Streetscapes ever since.

While Theresa* was also keen to work in the garden, poor health meant that she was unable to participate fully. During lockdown, with the assistance of Babalwa, the auxiliary social worker at the Streetscapes Rugley Road garden, Theresa successfully applied first for an ID and then a SASSA grant. A few months ago, she went to live with Robert and his family.

Now that they both have a regular income, the couple have secured accommodation but they need to equip their new home from scratch. Following an appeal on the Vredehoek community Facebook page, residents generously donated a bed and mattress, as well as some kitchen items.

They still need items such as a cupboard, curtains, bedding, towels, and a kettle.

Small items can be dropped at the Streetscapes Rugley Road Garden at the following times:

  • Monday through Friday: 8am – 2:00pm
  • Saturday: 10am – 12pm

*Names have been changed

Upskilling Streetscapes Fieldworkers

DPV Outreach and Streetscapes have been working together to upskill the four fieldworkers who are active in our neighbourhood.

The computer training offered by DPV Outreach member Natalie is still ongoing. The team is learning basic computer skills, empowering them to create and share their own reports, capture and sort data they collect, plan and schedule meetings and increase their professional skills. Since the end of September, they have met once or twice per week. Each session, the group brings a positive and eager attitude to learning these new skills!

Streetscapes has partnered with Cascadia Behavioral Health, a community-based behavioral health and substance use treatment services organization in the United States, to offer Peer Wellness Specialist Training to the fieldworkers. This amazing international opportunity is “an intensive program that teaches students to use their lived experience to provide advocacy and support for other individuals with similar challenges.”

DPV Outreach is still fundraising for Chantel Sampson’s Auxiliary Social Work course. More info below!

How can you help?

We are still fundraising for Chantel’s fieldworker salary through January 2022.

If we reach this, we will also begin saving for Chantel’s Auxiliary Social Work course and Streetscapes’ supervision of the Outreach Team.

Evidence shows that this approach to addressing homelessness is the most cost-effective option for our neighbourhood (Hopkins et al, 2020).