After dark, many of the streets of Johannesburg are filled with both young and elderly people, looking for shelter on any available street corner. Areas such as inner city (where we serve) are filled with an alarming number of homeless people.
Many of the homeless come to Johannesburg from other provinces and even other countries with varying sets of skills, hoping to find a place to stay, a job, a home and a way to help their loved ones. Unfortunately, many-both young and old- come to Johannesburg with little education and insufficient skills and resources to be able to find a sustainable income that can meet even the most basic of their needs.
It is clear that food, shelter, education and employment are the overwhelming needs of those living on our street corners, and in fact the need of every human being.
Urban Vision was created in response to these needs and to those of the human soul.
On the eve of Nelson Mandela’s Historic election to the presidency of South Africa in 1994, in a time of national new beginnings, a group of church volunteers initiated an after-school tutoring program to benefit the children of Alex, a Johannesburg township. Shortly thereafter, these volunteers formed MASIPHANE PROJECTS, the community development arm of His People Church.
Masiphane is a Zulu word meaning “it is good to share” or “it is good to give to each other”. Its vision -To Promote sustainable change in the lives of those most disadvantaged, bringing glory to God in all we do; facilitated the birth of Urban Vision Homeless Outreach in 2006.
Urban Vision began by serving food, teaching bibles studies and life skills in the inner city in 2006 and then moved to Melville in 2007. It continued with weekly outreaches and then launched a transitional housing commune in September 2008.
All four tenants from that transitional house are no longer on the street, with 3 working in full time positions and living in their own homes, and the final one working for Urban Vision. In 2010 our transitional commune was incorporated into our Development program.