What are you guys up to?
We work in the advertising industry at M and C Saatchi Abel in Green Point. It’s a very hip and trendy area where people have a lot of money, at the same time there is a huge homeless problem in the area. Everyday the haves and have nots cross each others paths but they never connect. So we wanted to do something to bring people together and learn from one another, so each side can remember that the other side is human. There is a cycle where they beg and we end up ignoring them as you can’t give to everyone. So we forget they are people, to make it easier. Because they are being ignored they look at us like pockets and not as people, it is a vicious cycle of dehumanization.
Tell me what you have learned?
This is not just about charity. The haves bring clothes. People get to choose what they want. These are people who haven’t got a choice where to sleep, what to eat. We are trying to give them that choice.
The learning has been that when you remember that these are people. Many of these people on the streets, something terrible has just happened to them. We want people to remember that and learn from that.