Bellville is an inner city residential neighbourhood of Cape Town. The number of homeless people continues to be on the rise, leading people to aggressive begging, eating from rubbish bins and committing crime to at least have something to eat. Children in this community are hindered from reaching their full potential due to poverty, abuse, unemployed caregivers, nutritional deficiencies and inadequate learning opportunities.

Our response has been to provide professional services to this community through a holistic approach of intake, intervention and exit. All programmes are structured to successfully help each client one-step at a time.

MES Cape Town believes in a space where hope is possible, where values and norms are nurtured, where the disempowered are empowered, where human potential is developed and where dignity is restored. MES Cape Town provides services regardless of age, religion or sexual orientation.

The services rendered to our client groups include a holistic approach of prevention, intake and intervention leading to a sustainable exit for each individual.  Presently MES Cape Town focuses on learners, adults, social support services and enterprise projects.  The pre-schoolers and youth groups form part of our expansion strategy for 2020 and beyond.

Our geographical areas include Bellville, Durbanville, Brackenfell, Scottsdene and Belhar.


After school services & holiday programmes

Creating a safe space where we instil positive change in the hearts and minds of children aged 7 to 13, helping them to reach their potential and optimal growth through a variety of educational and free play activities.

Coffee Clubs

Introducing monthly Coffee Clubs evenings to high school children aged 14 to 18, reaching out and building trust relationships through hosting spiritual, educational (focussing on teenage issues) and fun activities.


The Safe Space & Canteen

Restoring dignity by moulding and empowering homeless /jobless adults to improve their psychological, emotional and physical skills while being accommodated at a safe place to overnight, covering their most basic needs (food, clothing and toiletries).

GROW Job rehabilitation and Occupational therapy programme

Providing access to a job rehabilitation process for the homeless/jobless adults leading to an increased occupational intelligence that results in earning a living, restored dignity, enhancement of a person’s attitude and self-worthiness.


Social work services

Focusing on all groups by empowering them to live sustainable, independent and meaningful lives through counselling, workshops, after care, social relief, family reunification and rehabilitation programmes.

Spiritual enrichment services

Since MES is a Christian organisation we host spiritual programmes and offer counselling to each focus group.

Nutrition services

Learners and adults have access to nutritious meals and food parcels which covers a basic need and creates a point of entry to MES services.

MES Cape Town is calling on corporate donors and individual volunteers to support the Give Responsibly campaign, which discourages residents in the Western Cape province, from handing out money and goods to the homeless living in the streets.

As our campaign objective and part of our role to empower and uplift the destitute, we urge the community to refer homeless people at non-profit (NPO) organisations, such as MES. While there is over 14 000 homeless people in Cape Town at cost of R700m spent a year,  according to  The Cost of Homelessness Study in Cape Town, there’s seemingly been short-term solutions to the problem which are not only expensive but fail to help people get off the streets.

When and how to Give Responsibly?

We encourage the public to “Take cash out of the system” by buying food and shelter vouchers and refer people in need to charity  organisations such as MES, who will assist them through a high-level of social support services which the street people need.

Why should the public not give hand outs:

  • Giving money to children on the streets encourages them to leave home and stay out of school, promote substance abuse and keeps them away from organisations that are there to help them.
  • Giving food and clothing also does not help, it is sold or exchanged.
  • Giving money or support directly to street people demotivates them to search for professional social services which can change their lives.


  1. MES Safe Space, 1 AJ West street, Bellville 021 945 8028.
  2. Elim Night Shelter, 47 Third Ave, Elsies River 021 591 2824.
  3. Happy Valley Shelter, Off Palace Hill Road, Simon’s Town 021 786 5087.
  4. The Haven Night Shelter, Moira Henderson, 107 Chapel Street, Woodstock 021 461 2533.
  5. The Haven Night Shelter, Napier, 2 Napier street, Green Point 021 421 6219.
  6. The Haven Night Shelter, C/o 10th Ave & Metaal Street, Retreat 021 715 0817.
  7. Loaves & Fishes Shelter, 1 Chatham Road, Mowbray 021 448 5900.
  8. The Haven Shelter District Six, 20 Selkirk street 021 465 1310
  9. The Haven Shelter Wynberg, 16 Piers Road, Wynberg 021 762 8243.
  10. The Haven Kraaifontein, 21 Van der Ross Street, Eikendal 021 987 1967.

What is Responsible Giving?  

  • Sponsor a meal or shelter voucher.
  • Sponsor a Job Rehabilitation shift.
  • Donate good quality clothing, food products, toiletries and cleaning material to organisations who offer services to street people.
  • Sponsor a grocery gift card voucher for food.
  • Donate your time by volunteering.
  • Sign a debit order form for a programme of your choice.
  • Give time and respect to street the homeless.
  • Referring them to charity.
  • Using a resource list of your area.
  • Know your ‘hood’ (neighbourhood) – get to know the organizations in your area.

“Give a hand up, not a handout”


Ilse Maartens-Greyling, Branch Manager