Significant portion of street homeless resists and rejects services provided for them resulting in negative health, social and legal impact on both the individuals as well as the surrounding neighbourhoods. This group has become the number one cause of public complaints in Cape Town. Streetscapes was developed in 2015 to address this problem.

Importantly, Streetscapes complements existing emergency relief type of services with an approach that caters for the multidimensional needs of the chronic homeless while addressing stigma and disconnect in communities.

The project provides an integrated work-based rehabilitation and reintegration model, including supported employment opportunities, housing and psychosocial support. The beneficiaries gain the motivation, income and opportunities to address the chaotic nature of their lives, and tradition towards an independent happy life.

This past year importantly helped us test if the positive results achieved during the pilot phase can be sustained when more clients and services are added

Greatest progress has been achieved in our ‘housing first’ provision, quadrupling the number of people we can help with accommodation. Since its launch, Streetscapes has assisted hundreds of chronic homeless people and reached a 66% success rate in moving people off the streets within a year. Since opening Streetscapes houses, we have been able to improve this score to 79% in the first 6 months.

In stark contrast to five years ago, there seems to be an acceptance now that policing chronic homelessness doesn’t work. We have been able to build new partnerships and increase financial and other support.

For instance, some of the historically most vocal critics of homeless people in the CBD, small businesses on Long Street and a middle-class area resident association have formally partnered with us to develop more rehabilitative opportunities for these problematic clients. Local government has increased their support and invited us to represent Vulnerable Groups in the CBD ward committee. We have also been able to systematise our data collection and participate in research projects to address current knowledge gap around homelessness. Especially the formalised partnership with Human Sciences Research Council has been very valuable in this regard.

Doubling the number of beneficiaries in Streetscapes programme during the past 12 months has not impacted negatively on the impact of the programme. In fact, attendance, retention and moving off the streets scores have improved.

COVID-19 has posed an unprecedented situation to everyone.  It worsened an already bad situation for street homeless in Cape Town.  Streetscapes beneficiaries continued having access to services – and housing – and therefore were largely spared from suffering.  Others living on the street have endured such as loss of income, basic services and increased harassment.


  • 90 beneficiaries full time in the programme, earning R 2300 per month
  • Beneficiaries supporting financially 42 indirect beneficiaries
  • Moving off the street 79%
  • Retention 83% in 3 months, 66% in 12 months.
  • 4 organic gardens, 5 cleaning sites
  • Two housing first projects providing accommodation

StreetUni Cape Town was launched in the beginning of 2019. Its purpose is to attract and facilitate the involvement of VolunTrainees (Interns/volunteers) in Streetscapes with specific functions that range from research to supporting functions of the community project.

Since inception, it has facilitated the involvement of 7 international graduates from Holland, United States, France and Canada.  There have been numerous UCT and Stellenbosch students participating in various projects, with one of them been a long-term VolunTrainee and helping in one of the street cleaning projects. High school learners from Westerford High and Macassar High have also done volunteer work in the garden projects.

 The aim of StreetUni is twofold. Firstly to facilitate VolunTrainees in the programme and secondly to raise funding for the sustainable development of Streetscapes.




Account Name: Khulisa Social Western Cape Fundraising

Bank: Standard Bank

Account Number: 370670124

Branch Code: 006605

Branch: Hyde Park

In Event of queries, you may contact our financial manager.

Veni Govender

“I can now go out there, work and encourage other people to find a program like this.”

For 43 years, John Morley lived on the streets of Cape Town, sleeping on the pavement outside the South African parliament. His downfall began when he was stabbed, while aboard one of the deep-sea fishing boats on which he worked.

He became disabled and could no longer find employment as a fisherman. He started drinking heavily and lost contact with his family. For decades he eked out an existence by car-guarding and begging for hand-outs.

Khulisa offered John a lifeline when he joined their street cleaning pilot project for the homeless. Five months later, John had stopped drinking, moved back with his family and assumed a leadership position within the group, taking responsibility for the stock room where all the brooms, spades, clothes and bags are stored. He helped develop a set of rules and a stock register, and nothing went missing under his watch.

Having proven himself as a reliable, hard worker, with a passion for farming, John Morley will ‘graduate’ from the pilot project to start farming commercially in a city garden. Two major food retail chains have already confirmed that they will guarantee him a market by buying his produce.

Read the streetscapes media article here

In early 2015, Khulisa Social Services launched a pilot project in response to the growing problem of homelessness on Cape Town city streets.

We see increasing numbers of marginalised South Africans begging at intersections, sleeping in shop doorways and rummaging through rubbish bins for a bite to eat. While the well-intentioned give them small change, clothes and food, this is not a long-term solution. What can be done to help them break out of this cycle of despair?

“These are the people who fall through the cracks of society”, says Jesse Laitinen, Manager of Strategic Partnerships at Khulisa. “Many participants had been stuck in a cycle of petty crimes and bylaw offences like aggressive begging. With no fixed addresses, these citizens had limited access to social workers. They were constantly being arrested, placing strain on the courts and re enforcing a destructive and demoralizing cycle.”

Funded through the City of Cape Town Expanded Public Works Programme, Khulisa’s project provided vagrants with personal development programmes and opportunities to earn an income in order to help reintegrate them into society. Participants were paid a fortnightly stipend, enabling them either to return to their families with something to offer, or to pay for themselves to stay in a shelter.

The project as received funding from Ackerman Pick n Pay Foundation and Central City Improvement District. With the support Khulisa is setting up non-profit micro-enterprises in farming, baking, recycling and composting.