In partnership with Maranatha Services the MES Gqeberha (former Port Elizabeth) branch was established in 2008. During 2009 MES PE and Maranatha Services decided that the community would be best served by keeping their identities separate, each focussing on their own unique, respective strengths.
MES purchased the Diocese Building on 1 Hiles street, Korsten (Gqeberha Shelter) in June 2008 with bridging finance provided by the Christian Development Trust (CDT). In December 2011, MES PE was awarded a capital subsidy to finance the purchase and renovation of the shelter facility by the Eastern Cape Housing Department. The subsidy agreement was to provide a 120 bed shelter facility for vulnerable and homeless individuals. The bridging finance loan from CDT for the purchase was settled with the first deposit that was received in March 2012.
MES Gqeberha’s Historical Timeline:
- 2010 established the New Brighton (Red Location) outreach soup kitchen
- 2011 appointed a social worker
- 2015 Established the Morewag after Care Centre
- 2019 Established the over sixties Service Centre for homeless elderly
- 2019 Started the De Vos Malan after Care Centre
The services offered by the branch are anchored in Christian values and by utilising the MES Holistic Service Model that addresses the clients physical, emotional, spiritual and developmental needs the branch has become a space where the homeless of the inner city of the Nelson Mandela Metro and the Eastern Cape are provided with temporary three tier supportive residential care whilst they are rehabilitated and empowered towards a sustainable
exit from the shelter and re-unification with their families.
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 Gqeberha focusses on adults, older persons, social support services and enterprise projects.
Drop-In Soup Kitchen
- Restores dignity by moulding and empowering homeless/jobless adults to improve their psychological, emotional and physical skills while taking care of their most basic needs (food, clothing and toiletries). This is the point of entry that enables the branch to establish a relationship with the homeless person that could motivate the person to voluntarily enter into a MES Development programme in order to get off the streets all together.
The Hiles Street Shelter
- This 100 bed facility in Hiles street, Korsten is where street people can sleep safe (sheltered from the elements and crime) and have access to ablution facilities and experience social relief. This facility provides a platform to engage each street person in a development cycle of a mentorship programme with the aim of harm reduction, creating a sense of belonging and the will/ability to respond to opportunities in a responsible way.
- To provide shelter and promote active ageing the shelter accommodates and runs a service centre for homeless over sixties and those with mental or physical disabilities who have little or no family support. The supportive environment enables homeless older persons to remain in the familiar surroundings of their own community while they enjoy active, healthy, independent living. The full activity programme includes exercise, nutritious meals, a care worker as well as skills development and entertainment.
- Shelter Coupons are available for purchase by the public to present to homeless individuals begging at the robots instead of cash. This coupon entitles the holder to an overnight stay at the shelter that includes a shower, bed with clean linen, plate of food and in most cases toiletries and clothing.
Social work services
The Social Work Programme assists homeless and unemployed people to cope with their complex socio-economic and psychological problems by offering developmental and therapeutic intervention, rehabilitation and family reunification programmes that will empower them to make decisions that will change and improve their quality of life. With the focus remaining a sustainable exit from the shelter.
MES believes that the restorative grace of Jesus Christ makes change possible and hope a reality. The spiritual enrichment programme is integrated with all the different programmes presented at MES PE. This includes spiritual enrichment courses, interdenominational church services, bible study, linking the homeless with local churches and pastoral group or one to one counselling.
Adults have access to nutritious meals and food parcels which covers basic needs. The involvement via soup kitchens, clothing bank and benefitting from national campaigns and resources of MES is fulfilling a very real need in the Nelson Mandela Metro.