Growing up in Benoni and raised by his grandmother and his parents, *Bheki had a good childhood and was fortunate enough to study further after high school.

While he was studying, he unfortunately had to deal with the devastating news of losing his mother at the hands of his father and his father being sentenced to prison.

On completion of his tertiary education, *Bheki landed a full time job and moved to stay closer to his father with hopes of mending their relationship. Upon the release of his father from prison, the future of their relationship looked bright and promising, however his father couldn’t heal from the guilt he felt and resorted to taking his own life.

Losing his second parent sent *Bheki on a downward spiral which is how he found himself living on the streets of Johannesburg. In 2010 he made his way to the MES Ekurhuleni shelter in Doornfontein.

“They have helped me – twice in my life. Although I have recently found a job as a security officer, I am currently still staying at the MES Kempton Park shelter until I am on my feet again and able to afford my own accommodation and necessities,” says *Bheki.

A few weeks into his stay at the shelter, our social workers assisted *Bheki with his application in a security officer course at Stallion Security. *Bheki completed the course and received his Grade C certification. Thereafter, he moved out of the shelter, found a job and started his life again. A few years down the line, life presented him with challenges he couldn’t overcome, which left him homeless.

*Bheki remembered MES and the help he had received when he had his first downfall. He heard about the MES Kempton Park branch and started looking for it as he was then living on the streets of the East Rand.

“I am very grateful for everything that MES has done for me and I really hope they can help more homeless people to get their lives in order,” says Bheki.

*Bheki then came to the MES Kempton Park shelter during 2021, where he started attending the various life skills and spiritual enrichment workshops. The commitment to the betterment of his life helped him to start applying for jobs again and eventually found employment as a security officer.

“My message to the currently unemployed and homeless people of Kempton Park and around the country, is that if you really want to change your life, you must take the first step! There is help out there, there are organisations and people who are willing to help people like us, but you have to believe and want to see your life change,” says *Bheki with conviction.

*Bheki – not his real name