Homeless people housed at a Braamfontein shelter graduated with a bricklaying course certificate.

Residents at a local Braamfontein shelter have managed to graduate from a free two-week bricklaying course run by NGO Outreach Foundation.

The six graduates, all residents of the 3 Kotze Street Overnight Shelter, have subsequently secured jobs with the Outreach Foundation.

Mawande Kiviet, 28, who is one of the six graduates, moved to Johannesburg from the Eastern Cape in 2012.

“I had family here but they separated so I went to Hillbrow where I became homeless. I saw a flyer about the shelter … last year.

“They helped me a lot because they took me to rehab first, then I did the brick laying course and now I have a job,” Kiviet said.

Nthatheni Nevhutalu, 41, who is originally from Limpopo, said, “I don’t stay on the street anymore. I can eat which is important because the body needs rest, and it is safe.”

Lerato Motaung, a social worker at the shelter, told Wits Vuvuzela, “We assisted them by connecting them with the [non-profit organisations] that we work with and we try to improve their lives while they are still housed here.”

The shelter also offers different programmes such as computer literacy, security, and training for teachers, Motaung added.

Shelter manager, Karabo Manaka, told Wits Vuvuzela  the shelter also refers the displaced people for training with psychosocial support to deal with their past issues so they can gain new skills.

“We give them psychosocial support to sustain in whatever programme they are in,” he said.

Manaka said the shelter runs programmes that equip graduates with the skills required to handle challenges they may face in the workplace.

FEATURED IMAGE: Residents of the Braamfontein area walking outside the 3 Kotze Street Overnight Shelter. Photo: Lineo Leteba