Home still hopeful of land

Hope Again Recovery Home logistics manager, Godfrey Pienaar, and project manager, Francis Petersen, at the spot where drug addicts burn tyres to extract copper.

Hope Again Recovery Home has been fighting for close to 10 years, for the use of a vacant plot of land, where drugs are stashed and drug addicts burn tyres to extract copper.

The home celebrates its 10th anniversary on Saturday November 4 and wants to use the property next door, in Artemis Road, Woodlands, to raise awareness and showcase centres where drug addicts and their families can get help.

But, project manager at the home, Francis Petersen, said they have been battling for years to procure the property to expand their services.

Ms Petersen said the plot is surrounded by three drug dens and that they had clients clean the field, which had become a dumping ground, only to find drugs hidden in the grass. “Cars have also been broken into (and) batteries stolen,” she said.

Ms Petersen said the people who came to knock at the home’s doors for food knew who the thieves were but refused to give information.

She said there was a major need for recovery homes in Mitchell’s Plain because there were treatment programmes for drug addicts but no safe spaces within their communities to recover.

The recovery home started out as a recovery circle for drug addicts at Mount Hope Kingdom Life Church in Woodlands in 2007.

Logistics manager, Godfrey Pienaar, said Pastor Alfonso Schilder had started the circle with four men, including him.

One of the men who regularly attended the weekly Saturday meetings donated his home, in Rondevlei, which housed 11 men but it soon became too small and the church became the home.

In November 2008 the programme grew to include a facility for women and in June 2012 the home started offering after-care services to clients, who had completed a treatment programme.

Today the home can accommodate 28 men for six months and acts as a halfway house.

Mr Pienaar said Mount Hope offered a safe, contained space to recover from substance abuse, to deal with the root cause of addiction. “Clients are taught to have respect for themselves, to take responsibility for their families and society; to develop work ethic; establish and maintain sober living practices; and it offers a faith-based, behaviour modification programme to recover in,” he said.

Their after-care services offer clients a treatment programme; one-on-one counselling with a social worker; group counselling within support groups; family reunification; a gardening programme; random multi-drug urine testing; support in a safe, sober living environment; referrals to services to facilitate reintegration; and contact with employers.

Ms Petersen said the 10th anniversary celebration, themed Sober Living Rocks, would bring services together to present a united front against drug abuse.

“We want to show that you can be sober and still enjoy life,” she said.

Celebration guests include representatives from the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA), Cape Town Drug Counselling Centre; South African National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (SANCA); Zanethemba; False Bay Therapeutic Community Centre; Kensington hub; Sultan Bahu; Victory Outreach; The Matrix; the South African Police Service (SAPS); Heatherdale; Family and Marriage Society of SA (FAMSA); and Joan Woodman, councillor for Ward 75.

The home has engaged with the City of Cape Town and Natalie Bent, the former councillor for Ward 75 since 2012, and now they are talking to Ms Woodman to help gain ownership of the vacant plot in question.

According to Ms Woodman the City-owned property would be advertised to be auctioned off next year. Call Hope Again Recovery Home at 021 371 7323 for more information.