Dear Obs Journey friend,
We long for good news, it lifts our spirits and makes us believe that everything can work out in the end.
Gino’s Story: From Living Rough to Owning a BusinessThe good news is that there is hope. People once living rough on the streets can change their situations. One such person is Gino Mahume, who now runs Gino Clear Windows and Gutter Cleaning. He says:
“I used to live on the streets of Observatory. Prior to that, I had a job but I seemed to lose my way when I had relationship difficulties with my girlfriend, and I turned to drink. Inevitably, I lost my job, could not pay my rent, and ended up living rough. Observatory was a fine neighbourhood, the residents very generous in supporting my drinking habit. All that changed when, at the beginning of COVID I was asked if I wanted to go to a New Hope SA micro site which was operating from St Pete’s church, Mowbray. Ten of us lived in the church hall which had been converted into separate sleeping places for each resident. We received counselling, we learnt how to interact with others, we did some basic computer training, customer care training and we were given the opportunity to start our own business.
“Today, I am the owner of a window and gutter cleaning business. I mostly work on my own, but when I have big jobs, I employ two others to assist. I am now a housed resident of Observatory. It has been a long and sometimes tough journey, but I am proud of myself that I have made it through. The winter months are always difficult from a business perspective but I trust the people of Observatory will support me.”
Observatory, let’s support Gino! You can book him by calling or messaging him on 081 061 9243.
You’re Invited to an Inspirational Documentary ScreeningWe hope you can attend a screening of the film “Shelter at the Masque,” the true story of Quintin McLaughlin, a man who lived on the streets of Muizenberg for nine years and is now sober and employed. The documentary will be shown on 30 August at 17:00, right after Obs Pasta Kitchen’s weekly meal at St. Michael and All Angels Hall. The viewing is free.
Eviction on the Village GreenRecently the City served an eviction notice to those living on the Village Green. Whilst no one is happy about people living rough in a public space, this area is going to be developed for the benefit of all Observatory residents. The problem is, where are those people going to move to? Sadly, they will simply camp elsewhere in our neighbourhood, so the real problem is not being solved. Watch this space as we update you.
Meeting With CouncillorRepresentatives from The Obs Journey will meet on Wednesday, 15 August, with Councillor Matthew Kempthorne about the City’s role in assisting communities to find solutions with homelessness. We will keep you posted about the meeting
If you have any other ideas, suggestions or would like to get involved in The Obs Journey, please contact us at theobsjourney at gmail dot com – the journey belongs to us all!
– The Obs Journey team (Carolyn, Janine and Laura)