History of the Homestead

By | April 22, 2016

1982 – The Homestead, the first shelter for street children in Cape Town, and indeed in South Africa, was opened in July 1982 in a building in New Church Street, the use of which was donated by St Paul’s Anglican Church.

1984 – The Homestead was registered as a place of care for 16 boys between the ages of 6 and 16.

1985 – An Activity Centre was opened in Harrington Street.

1986 – The need or a second stage home for those boys who had become more settled at The Homestead was identified and in July Patrick’s House was opened in Hope Street, occupying a building rented from the Catholic Church for a nominal fee.

1988 – Patrick’s House was registered as a Children’s Home for 30 boys who were formerly street children.

1989 – “Learn To Live”, a non-formal Education Project for street children, was designed and implemented by The Homestead in response to the fact that so few street children manage to cope within the formal school structure. This programme was subsequently taken over by The Salesian Institute in Somerset Road, where it is flourishing.

1990 – Major renovations were undertaken at The Homestead to extend the facility to 24 boys. This is, however, the minimum number, often there are over 30 children. The highest figure recorded in any one night was 58.

1991 – The Homestead established the post of Street Worker, the first of its kind in South Africa.

1992 – Yizani Drop-In Centre was opened.

1992 – Patrick’s House premises in Hope Street were sold, and it moved to The Salesian Institute in Somerset Road, which had facilities to accommodate 40 boys.

1994 – Due to high numbers at the Shelter, another Children’s Home, The Bridge, was built on land donated by Cape Town City Council. It was opened by Archbishop Desmond Tutu to accommodate 40 boys who were settled enough o return to formal school.

1997 – Masithethe mediation project was launched with the aim of reuniting children newly arrived on the streets with their families.

1999 – Manenberg satellite site was established at Silvertree Centre to provide activities to keep children off the streets, as well as a job creation project for mothers of children at risk.

2000 – The building at 150 Strand Street was purchased to house the administrative office and Yizani Drop-In Centre. Funds were raised largely due to the efforts of the late Tonny Mestriner and her contacts in the Netherlands. It opened in April 2000 and was named in her honour.

2001 – Homestead Intake Shelter moved from St Paul’s Church premises (which had housed it since 1982) to the Bridge building in District Six.

2001 – The Bridge and Patrick’s House amalgamated and moved to rented premises in Khayeltisha. Now called The Bridge at Elukhuselweni, the Children’s Home is registered for 75 boys between 6 and 18. It is our dream to build our own Children’s Home in this community.

2005 – The Khayelitsha Early Intervention Programme was established to provide help to families and children at risk, and work on family preservation to prevent children going onto the streets.

2006 – Yizani Drop In Centre moved to the same premises as the Intake Shelter in District Six. Ubunye Beadwork Project moved to 150 Strand Street.

2007 – Huis Hoop Drop In Centre opened in Muizenberg to assist children living on the streets of Muizenberg. Manenberg Early Intervention Project changed focus from running an afternoon care centre to helping Deanville Primary School with truanting and children displaying behavioural difficulties.

2008 – A piece of land was finally secured in Khayelitsha so that we can build our own Children’s Home.

2010 –  Groundbreaking and official start to building new CYCC

2013–  Official Opening of Hilary house our new state of the art Child and Youth Care centre was opened in Khayelitsha to accommodate 75 boys aged between 6 and 17.  Also in this centre is an emergency placement dormitory for local children in need of emergency short term care.  New prevention and early intervention programme opened in Valhalla Park working with 140 neglected and traumatised children per day.

2014 –   Drop-in Centre for vulnerable children opened in Valhalla Park

2015 –   Hans Katoen Pavilion added to the Homestead CYCC in Khayelitsha, this includes a new dining room, multimedia room, arts and crafts space, sick bay and more.    Manenberg Drop-in centre moved to church hall away from gang violence.

2016 –   Old Intake Shelter totally refurbished.    Intake shelter and stabilisation programme moved to Khayelitsha CYCC,  Transition Programme moved to Woodstock.