Kempton Park’s inner city faces poverty challenges on a regular basis. There is an estimate of 800 homeless people living and working on the streets, contributing to an increase in prostitution, begging and crime. Affordable accommodation is not available and illegal backyard rental accommodation has increased. The circumstances in which these people have to stay in is horrendous, with cases of people having to pay rent to stay in Zozo huts and caravans. Slumlords are also exploiting the poor with homes being rented out to as many as 30 people.

There is a big need to reach out to the children in these families, as they do not have the opportunity to attend proper pre-schools or after school centres. Hunger is another challenge that faces the poor and the need for drop in centres with intervention programmes e.g. distribution of meals, food parcels and programmes focussed on breaking the cycle of poverty, has increased.

On 1 August 2010, MES opened a satellite branch in Kempton Park, because of the urgent need for an overnight shelter and the continuation of social relief as a means to address the pressing needs of the homeless community. MES Kempton Park operates as an independent branch of the MES NPO. The goal is to offer services to the poor, homeless and unemployed community in the inner city of Kempton Park that will lead to restoration, a sense of belonging and enable the community to lead sustainable, meaningful lives.


The shelter provides temporary accommodation, for a maximum of four months. It is an overnight shelter, and the ideal to use, in cases of emergency. The facility caters for individuals (ages 18 and above) and not families. Unfortunately, we cannot currently cater for the disabled. The cost is R20 per night and includes, a shower, washing powder, basic toiletries, locker and a bed for the evening. Shelter outreaches take place on Wednesday and Sunday evenings with the assistance of volunteers. During these outreaches, fellowships with the shelter clients take place through praise and worship, bringing of the Word and serving a meal. Occasionally special evenings, like movie nights and braai’s are hosted for shelter clients.

The branch provides weekly food parcels to 60 poor and needy families and individuals that live in small rooms, apartments and caravans in the inner city.

The community kitchen operates five days a week and provides affordable healthy meals to the homeless and unemployed at R5 per meal.

The Clothing Bank provides clothes to the poor and needy, that are identified through the various projects. Clothes are also provided if an urgent need is identified in other organisations and churches. Assistance is given in disaster cases e.g. floods, etc. Every last Saturday of a month a jumble sale of clothing and old furniture is organised to raise funds for the branch’s activities. This programme also allows the less privileged in the community to buy items at minimum prices.

Monthly street outreaches take place and offer the opportunity to connect with the people living on the streets. The outreaches take place every first Tuesday of the month, at 18:00 in the evening. Annual Hope for Winter and Christmas outreaches are also hosted for the various projects.


This programme provides access to job and life rehabilitation programmes for the homeless and vulnerable community of Kempton Park, leading to an increased occupational intelligence that results in earning a living and restored dignity. Daily workshops and enrichment programmes are hosted, together with the provision of cash in hand opportunities.In the end the programme changes unemployed and desperate individuals into employable individuals that can be placed into suitable jobs, so that they can reintegrate back into society. Partnerships are in place with organisations in the city and occasionally the clients from MES get job opportunities from these businesses.

Currently there are not many opportunities for after school care in the inner city and this poses a real threat to the safety and development of children growing up in the inner city environment. Child neglect is a big problem in the inner city, as many parents are not home in the afternoons and leave their children unattended. Due to unemployment, many parents are also not able to pay for after school care. The MES Kempton Park after school centre creates a place of safety for these children, where they can be assisted with homework, exam preparations and other basic needs. The facility can accommodate 25 children per day and a healthy meal is also served to each child that attends.


Tutela Kempton Park has made a full-time social auxiliary worker available to work out of our branch, specifically on the GROW Programme. He works closely with the homeless and unemployed individuals and they are assessed, monitored and taken through a process of healing and restoration. The social worker further assists with:

• Access to job hunting resources
• CV compilation
• Social work sessions
• ID applications
• Applications for bursaries