The Bridge CYCC

The Bridge CYCC involves therapeutic residential care and development for 65 Boys Aged 7 to 17.

Reason for the Programme

  • Cape Town continues to have large numbers of children who come onto the street to live, work and beg.
  • The street environment is too harsh, abusive, exploitative and detrimental to children and their physical and mental health, they need to be transitioned off the street and into care as quickly as possible.
  • Street children are usually not able to move directly back home due to family dysfunction and because of the unsettled nature of street children who exhibit behavioural and substance abuse problems.
  • Street children are traumatised children because of the chronic neglect, physical and mental abuse and exploitation they have suffered, they therefore need a therapeutic residential programme to address these issues.
  • Street children have substance abuse and behavioural challenges as well as developmental and education delays.
  • Street children require consistent and ongoing support and live in a “fight or flight” emotional state, sometimes absconding back to street life as soon as life gets challenging.
  • Children who live, work, and beg on the street need a residential based programme to successful transition away from street life and back to their families

Purpose of the Shelter

  • To provide appropriate, therapeutic and developmental residential care so street children can successfully transition away from street life and back to their families.
  • To provide a structured and formal stabilisation process, one that enables the child to reconstruct their shattered lives, sort out substance abuse and behavioural issues, reconnect with their families, reignite their school career, and access extra mural activities.
  • To offer a gentle, non-judgemental but firm and consistent daily structure that offers street children the patience, space and ongoing support they need through the ups and downs of their transitional process, one that compliments family life and processes underlying trauma.
  • To provide an appropriate residential facility for street children that is well away from the dangers, attractions and their vulnerability to street life and those wanting to exploit Street Children.
  • To provide a well-resourced facility situated within a stable welcoming community environment so children reconnect with community life and develop sound peer relationships

Impact of the Shelter

  • 160 street children are helped annually through the Homestead residential projects.
  • Ex Homestead boys, or Homestead graduates can be found happily living normal lives.
  • This project consistently runs at over 90% capacity with an absconding rate of less than 10%.
  • The Homestead has been instrumental in reducing the number of children living and begging on the street by 90%
  • Formal School attendance is at 55% and climbing.