(Article first published on GoodThingsGuy.com)

Streetscapes is a project by Khulisa Social Solutions in Cape Town that is building inner city vegetable gardens to create small income streams for the homeless – thereby creating a sense of purpose …

Streetscapes currently has three garden projects in the works. The focus is to create work opportunities for the homeless. According to the organisation, 77% of participants in the project have since moved off the streets thanks to the income they earn from the project. 68% of the participants have addressed their substance abuse issues in a very positive way.

It is a ‘hand-up’, not a handout

“Work provides income, dignity and cross-race cross-class contacts – beyond their immediate community. A big part of poverty is lack of social networks needed for navigating out of poverty. Streetscapes demonstrates that people living on the streets are highly motivated to work and rebuild their lives,” says the organisation.

Khulisa Social Solutions started Streetscapes to help uplift members of the homeless community and petty offenders who have been released from prison. They work closely with the police and the magistrate’s court to help petty offenders get a second chance working in vegetable gardens.

Subscribe to our Free Daily All4Women Newsletter to enter

There are three gardens and a few other projects to date

The government has also started investing in the idea as they have seen the positive outcomes of the project.

  • Streetscape Roeland Street Garden – 350 square metres of land produces locally organic, affordable food for the residents in the city.
  • Streetscape Trafalgar Garden – 600 square metres producing organic vegetables for restaurants in the city.
  • Streetscape Foreshore Garden – 5 000 square metre organic garden opening in 2017 in partnership with Central City Improvement District and City of Cape Town.

The organisation teamed up with Trafalgar High School which runs a brilliant composting programme making compost out of organic waste.

Streetscape also has plans to start a new project in 2017, making artisanal soaps out of herbs, oils and botanicals from the gardens.