Pride Shelter Trust houses CT's homeless queer community

Refilwe Moloto speaks to the director of the Pride Shelter Trust, Nicole Alexander about providing shelter to Cape Town's homeless queer community.

The lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender diverse, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) community continue to be ostracised in South Africa despite the Constitution upholding diversity and inclusion.

Moreover, belonging to the community and queer acts are outlawed in many countries the world over.

LGBTIQ members are oftentimes excluded - which can lead to homelessness.

They are kicked out of their homes and communities and subjected to gender-based violence and religious exclusion - among others.

But Cape Town's Pride Shelter Trust is dedicated to ending the cycle of homelessness and reintegrating queer people back into society.

The facility accommodates homeless queer people for three months.

This while they undergo programmes to build them up and give them the much-needed tools to deal with and navigate their traumas.

Pride Shelter Trust is able to accomplish this through a safe house leased from the City of Cape Town and funding from private donors, individual donors, and support from the community and international organisations.

We're really dependent on the public, not just financial support, but resources and time, and people volunteering in terms of what they can offer.

Nicole Alexander, director - Pride Shelter Trust

The organisation, however, does not come with its own sets of challenges, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic hitting the daily running of it hard but the positive response and support from the community and other LGBT+ organisations has been pivotal in the upkeep of Pride Shelter Trust.

We've had a lot of positive responses from the community, from our fellow people in South Africa, but also oversees support... We've had a lot of f collaborations with other queer organisations in South Africa, which is a big plus because I'm a big believer in not working in silos, so collaboration is very very important for us.

Nicole Alexander, director - Pride Shelter Trust

Those looking to support homelessness in Cape Town's queer community, help teach residents skills, spend time with them and even cook a meal for them can visit Pride Shelter Trust's website here to find out more.

Listen to the full interview above.

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