How DPVO got started
DPV Outreach (DPVO) was formed by a small group of residents of Devil’s Peak and Vredehoek who had previously been involved with DPV Neighbourhood Watch as well as the DPV Community Action Network (DPV CAN) that operated in the area during lockdown in 2020. Engagement with both these organisations showed that residents in the wider community were extremely concerned about the growing numbers of homeless people seen in and around our suburbs, but were often unsure of the most effective way to make a difference.
DPVO is working in partnership with Streetscapes, to look at how our community can find solutions to homelessness in our area.
As an organisation, our first project follows in the footsteps of the Van Riebeeck Park Pilot Project which ran from the end of April 2019 to end February 2020, with the aim to provide support to unhoused community members and information to all community members in the Devil’s Peak Vredehoek area. The support is provided by Chantel Sampson, a part-time fieldworker, who is supervised and mentored by our amazing partners from the Streetscapes Programme at Khulisa Social Solutions.
DPV Outreach’s approach is to build a sustainable, long-term model that deals with the bigger picture of homelessness, by tapping into the knowledge and experience of organisations such as Streetscapes and other NGOs working with the homeless and working together with them to find sustainable solutions to current issues; and engaging with local stakeholders in the community.
To start with, we see our role as twofold. First, as a conduit between the homeless community in our area and housed residents, and vice versa – which is where the role of Chantel, our fieldworker, is critical. Second, we want to support the work and rehabilitation programmes that Streetscapes (and other NGOs) offer to homeless individuals, so that they can effect permanent, sustainable change in their lives.
Chantel started on 1 August 2021, and she hit the ground running! On her very first day of work, she stayed by the side of someone in need of emergency medical care for several hours. The person was finally taken to the hospital and was extremely grateful for the support that Chantel provided!
Please say hello if you see Chantel around the neighbourhood. You can find out more about her work below.
DPV Outreach is currently fundraising to cover our share of Chantel’s salary for 12 months. Please consider making a donation.
DPV Outreach is a registered non-profit organisation (271-223 NPO)
Meet Chantel, Vredehoek’s dedicated fieldworker!
Since Chantel started working in our area she has:
- Assisted with community mapping
- Welcomed new clients
- Ensured there are follow ups with existing clients
- Facilitated the street cleaning team working in the DPV neighbourhood as part of the Streetscape’s stipend programme with national government
With the support of DPV Outreach, Chantel has enrolled for her Auxiliary Social Work qualification and will be studying in 2023. The course consists of both theory and on-the-ground work assignments. We will still be able to request assistance from Streetscapes should we need help with homeless individuals in our area, as Chantel’s colleagues will be covering for her when she is not available.
Chantel’s role as a Peer Support Specialist with Streetscapes includes:
- Intake assessments and trust building
- Assisting clients with opening a bank account and obtaining ID
- Facilitation and assistance with psychosocial services
- Regular one-on-one sessions: goal setting, budgeting, debt management etc
- Regular group sessions: women’s groups, men’s groups, recovery groups, development groups (career planning)
- Development of interpersonal skills/controlling emotional impulses
- Referrals and support to access health services, inpatient / outpatient rehabilitation, NA/AA groups
- Accessing counselling and therapeutic services
- Helping clients build a support network, liaising with family
- Facilitating recreation activities like soccer and yoga
- Assisting clients access skills development programmes – (cleaning, security, fork lift operation, work readiness, etc)
Please say hello if you see Chantel around the neighbourhood. We are so excited to have her on the team and we can’t wait to grow together! She is supported by and will work with Sibusiso and Sicelo who are Streetscapes’ outreach workers.
Our partnership with Streetscapes
As an organisation, our first aims to provide support to unhoused community members and information to all community members in the Devil’s Peak Vredehoek area. The support is provided by a part-time fieldworker who is supervised and mentored by our amazing partners from the Streetscapes Programme at Khulisa Social Solutions. DPV Outreach is excited to be partnering with Streetscapes in this new initiative.
To start, our fieldworker, Chantel, is dedicating three days a week to DPV Outreach tasks, while the other two days she works for Streetscapes. As with the VRP pilot project, she is starting by walking the area with the Streetscapes Outreach support team to introduce themselves and DPV Outreach to people who are either living rough in our parks or on our streets, or who come into the area to look for work and to beg. Chantel is conducting a confidential mini-census of the individuals who stay in the area and are willing to share their information. This evidence-based approach gives DPV Outreach a good idea of where we, as a community, need to focus and how we can best link people with social services and rehabilitation programmes.
Streetscapes’ mandate is to work with individuals who are chronically homeless, drawing them into a structured work environment at their vegetable gardens, which act as an entry point to their rehabilitation programmes. Streetscapes’ experience is that when people are given the opportunity to earn a regular stipend, they are then able to find accommodation and stabilise their lives. A safe place to live then allows them to deal with the challenges that drove them onto the street in the first place. Streetscapes has a high success rate of helping people move off the street.
We are continuing to learn from Streetscapes and, together, we are sure we can make a difference.
There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.
~ MARGARET J. WHEATLEY