Over the past decade, MES Cape Town has established a very strong outreach, social relief and helpdesk service that meets the immediate and short-term needs of the homeless and unemployed community.

In 2014 MES’s sister company, Madulammoho Housing Association, expanded to Cape Town. The new social housing developments in Belhar and Scottsdene created another platform for MES Cape Town to offer social work services. MES Cape Town conducts outreaches in these communities and is working towards a youth development program which will support the social work services in creating healthy communities.


Our integrated services and the MES process ensure a holistic service for our clients. The one-stop Centre of Hope which provides these services to the homeless and street people communities in Bellville, Parow, Brackenfell and Durbanville. This is a long-held dream for MES, intended to enable impactful change in the community. A property in Bellville now provides much-needed services to our homeless community. The Safe Space, which is a step down from a shelter, was opened on 24th May 2017. The Safe Space is a basic facility where street people can sleep safely, sheltered from criminal elements and the weather, and can access to ablution facilities and social relief.

This facility and service also provides a platform to engage each street person in a development cycle comprising a mentorship programme aiming at harm reduction, creating a sense of belonging and the will and ability to respond to opportunities in a “response-able” way. The Safe Space is a start to good citizenship.

At its heart, the Centre aims to unite different community stakeholders from church, state, business and civil society, each drawing on the strengths of the others to deliver impactful change in and alongside the community.

Principles that guide the development of our Centre of Hope

  • Planned growth
  • Integrated service delivery, providing a holistic model
  • Increasing communities’ access and connectedness to resources
  • Activities addressing the need for the economic development of communities
  • Collaboration with government, the private sector, churches, NGOs and the community
  • Services and programmes must provide incentives for development, instilling a sense of responsibility and ownership in clients
  • Monitoring and evaluation leading to accountability and innovativeness
  • Developing a model that can be duplicated


MES believes that the restorative grace of Jesus Christ makes change possible and hope a reality. The Spiritual Enrichment Programme encourages our clients on their spiritual journeys and is integrated with all the other MES programmes.

Our services include:

• Restoration/discipleship workshops at the GROW Job Rehabilitation Programme, the Residential Care Programme and the MES community kitchens
• Linking the homeless community with local churches
• Taking care of the MES personnel
• Creating platforms for fellow Christians to bring hope to the community

At MES it is very important that we build relationships with our clients. Through relationships with the homeless community, we build awareness of our clients’ needs, inform the community of services available to them and to give meaningful input that informs the decisions that affect the homeless community.

Our services include:

• Daily outreaches and support at the MES community kitchen
• Prayer and counselling
• Referrals to MES services
• Social relief to clients in dire need
• Social events
• Contributing to the Tygerberg Heritage Festival
• Partnering with the X-chains outreach group that reaches out to women trapped in prostitution

The Safe Space offers very basic shelter space to the homeless community. This space creates a safe haven at night to sleep, sheltered from weather and criminal elements, and which provides access to shower and ablution facilities. Most importantly, this is the contact point for MES outreach and social workers to engage with the homeless person, assess his or her needs and create an individual development plan.

Our services include:

• Managed, covered and safe sleeping area
• Locker, ablution and washing facilities
• Intake services
• Social relief – providing blankets and toiletries
• During the day MES Community kitchens provide meals @ R5 cash or with a meal voucher
• Referrals to resources and professional services
• Life skills workshops aimed at harm reduction and the development of craft activities
• Crises intervention services


This programme focuses on empowering clients through skills development and knowledge. It aims to cultivate an attitude focused on personal growth and to prepare clients for a sustainable exit into the open labour market. This programme works closely with the GROW Job Rehabilitation Programme and integrates occupational therapy.

Our services include:

• Life skills workshops which are free, include the GROW Peer Educator Programme
• In-house training programmes (cleaning, cooking and practical application in the GROW Programme and MES Kitchen)
• Referrals to vocational skills training
• Learnership and job placement
• Resource Centre: o Drafting and compiling a CVo Access to telephone and email serviceso Access to job hunting platformso Interview and job preparation
• Follow-up services: Assistance with first month’s expenses and transport and support with work related issues.

The GROW Job and Life Rehabilitation Programme creates shift opportunities where cash is earned for work done, whilst being part of a coaching and developmental programme. It provides the homeless and unemployed community an alternative to aggressive begging and petty crime. Honest, hard-earned cash enables participants to restore their dignity, buy their meals at the MES Canteen, pay for their overnight shelter accommodation, apply for their IDs and save. GROW teaches participants to be diligent and disciplined and to progress towards their exit through hard work. It also empower them with the skills to find employment. The GROW programme is primarily supported through the occupational services provided to clients.

Occupational Therapy Services play a significant role in helping our clients to function optimally. Clients are equipped to identify and understand those behaviours and external factors that may be causing or resolving problems in their lives. We help clients to modify or change their behaviours or situations so that they can move forward. In the process, clients build self-confidence and they begin to take responsibility for their lives. This service plays an integral role in the Skills Development and Job Rehabilitation Program.

Our services include:

• Creating “I CAN” moments to build occupational intelligence
• Occupational therapy assessments
• Occupational intelligence workshops
• Identifying “just right” challenges for each individual or group to ensure growth instead of failure
• One-on-one sessions to help the client develop an individual development plan
• Development of task-specific training material

MES Cape Town’s youth development programme is currently under development. The end goal is to deliver afterschool services to the communities of Madulammoho Housing Association in Belhar and Scottsdene. Making social work services available to the youth program will improve the spiritual, emotional and physical health of the youth in these communities. We aim to start implementation early 2019.


The Social Work Programme assists homeless and unemployed people to cope with their complex socio-economic and psychological problems by empowering them to make decisions that will change and improve their quality of life. Social work services are also provided in Belhar and Scottsdene as part of the MES and Madulammoho partnership.

Our services include:

• The psycho-social assessment of all referred and walk-in clients
• Developing and monitoring individual development plans with clients
• Referring clients internally to other MES programmes and externally to other service providers
• External referrals to specialised services/other stakeholders
• Counselling, social relief and case management
• Family reunification and reintegration services
• Group work sessions on various topics at our various venues, including Madulammoho’s buildings
• Distribution of food parcels to destitute families in the community with children
• Management of Residential Care, which includes: o Emergency accommodation for single mothers with children