History of the Homestead

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 for 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 now a skills school.

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.

Jules Levin, First Street Outreach Worker

Jules Levin, First Street Outreach Worker

1992 – Yizani Drop-In Centre was opened.

Paul Hooper (First Yizani Centre Coordinator) with children at Yizani Centre

Paul Hooper (First Yizani Centre Coordinator) with children at Yizani Centre

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 to return to formal school.

Tutu and Annette0001

Archbishop Tutu and Annette Cockburn opening the Bridge

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 Tony Mestriner and her contacts in the Netherlands. It opened in April 2000 and was named in her honour.  Research shows that there are now 782 children living on the streets of Cape Town.

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 Khayelitsha.  It was called The Bridge at Elukhuselweni, the Children’s Home is registered for 75 boys between 6 and 18.  The dream was to build our own Children’s Home in this community.

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

Sandra Morriera and Tutu

Director Sandra Morreira with Archbishop Tutu

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,   named after Dame Hilary Cropper, was now our new Child and Youth Care centre 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 care.  A new prevention and early intervention programme was opened in Valhalla Park to respond to the many children coming onto the street from this community and to work with  140 neglected and traumatised children per day.

2015 –   The 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- centre is moved to church hall away from gang violence.

2016 –   Old Intake Shelter, running since 1994 is totally stripped and refurbished into a Transitional Programme for very settled boys preparing to leave care.    Intake and Stabilisation centre for children coming off the street or from traumatic situations is moved to the Homestead Khayelitsha CYCC.