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 down by 90% since the year 2000. The Homestead projects include an Intake Centre in Woodstock that successfully transitions over 100 children a year away from the street, 40% of whom are successfully reunified back home to their families: A Child and Youth Care Centre (Children’s home) in Khayelitsha, a modern, bright and well-resourced facility that provides specialised therapeutic and transitional residential care and education to 75 boys each day; and Homestead Prevention and Early Intervention programmes in Manenberg, Valhalla Park, Woodstock and Khayelitsha all working each week with more than 300 chronically neglected, traumatised, and physically and emotionally abused children to provide them with the family preservation, school attendance, therapeutic, social work, as well as poverty and welfare relief they need to stay away from street life.
The Homestead is based on developmental principles and because there is no single solution to the challenge of children living,working and begging on the street. The Homestead must offer 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.