Students bring home back to Haven

22 June 2007 | Story by Newsroom

Many hands: Students from the Smuts/Fuller outreach committee spruced up The Haven Night Shelter in District Six. (Thanks go to their sponsors Ceramica and Cleopatra Tiles, On Tap and Scooters Pizza.)

In a bathroom at The Haven Night Shelter, new tiles are going up, neatly edged and grouted. The artisans are an unlikely group: UCT students, representatives of the Smuts/Fuller outreach committee.

The shelter houses 80 men and women and provides physical care and support for homeless people needing rehabilitation and reintegration.

But the 14-year old building needed some rehabilitation too. It now sports a fresh coat of paint, tiled bathrooms, new toilets seats and the windows have handles.

"It's the first time residents have been able to close the windows in two years", said The Haven Night Shelter operations manager Michael Prinsloo.

"It's wonderful. We've had students from the university do work for us in the past but not to the extent that they've got paint and tiles and window handles donated."

Inspired, The Haven residents asked what they could do to keep the building in good nick.

There was more to come: a visit from co-founder of the Starfish Foundation, Anthony Farr, who shared some motivating words.

Prinsloo said he hoped the students would consider doing similar work at their Kalk Bay shelter next year.

"It needs a lot of maintenance."

Tile dust on his face, outreach committee member Thabang Sekete said: "This is part of our commitment to the local community. We want to make a tangible difference for years to come."

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