“Things happened in my life, things that caused me a lot of pain. I withdrew from society. I withdrew to the one place where I knew I could become invisible. The only place where I could wait for my time to come, the streets… My life had no meaning or value” – my Uncle.
He lived on the streets for thirteen years! No addictions, good health and intelligent, but broken…
Life can dish up some of the harshest experiences. Experiences that results in us losing all faith in humanity and completely detaching from society.
Re-integration is NOT easy. Often we look at the homeless on the street, we reach out to help. BUT some people just want to be left alone. This, the insight, shared by my uncle. “Believe me, they will reach out when THEY are ready. “
Two weeks ago, my uncle moved in with us. He broke down his tiny cardboard shack in the bush, and his only possessions were his clothes on his back, his self-worth and his dignity. And on the 7th July, my dad and his brother celebrated their birthdays together, for the first time in many years. Together under the same roof!
We have no expectation, these are unchartered waters for all of us, my son included.
Last week I walk the streets with my uncle, we talked, I observed…He’s not told anyone that he no longer lives on the streets. He doesn’t want to become accustomed to sitting on the beach with a hot coffee in hand. “Nothing in life is guaranteed…” he says.
Soon he will apply for his ID. Many years ago he was computer literate, employed by the education department. However, since living on the streets he’s sustained himself with odd jobs, garden and building maintenance. Now that he has a home, he is eager to get back on his feet, to rejoin society…He has no addictions, is healthy and a very good communicator.
He is currently looking for employment in the Fish Hoek area. Do let me know if you are aware of any odd jobs/permanent jobs in the Valley please.
This post was published with the permission of my Uncle.