Opened in 1982 the Homestead is acknowledged by government as a “best practice model” for street children and a comprehensive response of prevention, outreach, stabilisation, as well as therapeutic and transitional residential care services to children living, working and begging on the streets of Cape Town. The Homestead has been instrumental in successfully reducing the number of children living on the streets of Cape Town by 90% from a high of 786 children living on the street in the year 2000. The Homestead projects include an Intake Centre in Khayelitsha that successfully transitions over 100 children a year away from the street, 40% of whom are successfully and directly reunified back home to their families. This is based at our Children’s home in Khayelitsha, a modern, bright and well-resourced facility that provides specialised therapeutic residential care, education and development for up to 75 boys at a time. In January 2016 we opened “The Launch Pad” in our Woodstock facility a residential facility for youth leaving care, helping them to get ready for a successful adult life away from the street. The Homestead also runs a number of Prevention and Early Intervention programmes in Manenberg, Valhalla Park, Woodstock and Khayelitsha that together help over 300 chronically neglected, traumatised, and physically and emotionally abused children to stay away from the street through family preservation, school attendance, therapeutic, social work, as well as poverty and welfare relief services. Finally the Homestead also provides Drop-in and Outreach programmes for children living, working and begging on the street.
The Homestead is based on developmental principles and that there is no single solution to the challenge of children living,working and begging on the street. The Homestead offers a continuum of services, both on and off the street, and which address the needs of both the child and their families and through which children can grow towards competence and self-confidence.