Safe haven for those in distress

Ankarien Oelofse says she is thrilled that her plans for a halfway house are coming together.

A non-profit is setting up a halfway house Table View for families in need.

Four years ago, Ankarien Oelofse started the Table View Angels (TVA), which helps families in the Milnerton, Table View and Melkbosstrand areas who have fallen on hard times.

The organisation helps the families for a limited time, up to three months, giving them breathing room to get back on their feet.

Ms Oelofse is part of several organisations in Table View including the community police forum and the neighbourhood watch, and she says she helps the needy because she has faced her own difficulties in life, including mental illness, alcoholism, being homeless and abuse.

“I started questioning God as to why I was put on this earth to go through all these traumatic experiences. I figured out later in life that I went through all those things so that I can help others who are going through similar experiences.”

The organisation uses social media to raise funds for food, clothing, electricity, baby goods among other things.The organisation started renting a house at the beginning of last month , paying R15 000 (excluding utilities).

For the past two-and-a-half years, Ms Oelofse has dreamt of opening a halfway house for the families her organisation helps.

“Often the shelters around Cape Town do not take whole families and would want to split them up, and, of course, people want to stay together. At this new halfway house, we can offer help to families who have been evicted from their homes, who need assistance and want to get back on their feet.”

She stressed that the home was not a homeless shelter but a haven for families who need help getting through a tough time.

There is space for four families in the five-bedroom house. There’s a kitchen, three bathrooms, a big backyard, a living room area and reception area.

The reception area will also have a workstation where the families can look for jobs, update CVs and the like. Ms Oelofse will occupy one of the rooms in her role as house manager.

The home had yet to open, she said, and more donations were needed for various needs.

“I am urging businesses to come on board and help these community efforts. Our premises needs eight double bunks, two security gates, food and safety equipment. I would like to thank all those who have supported us to get to this point and helping us secure a place to start the halfway house,” she said.

Anyone interested in helping, can contact Ankarien Oelofse at Ankarien@tableviewangels.co.za or visit the Table View Angels Facebook page.