Byline: Kelebogile Masemola

13 July 2022

Life Changing Projects has set about its winter shoe drive to help homeless men in Tshwane, putting the vulnerable first is the organisation’s first priority.

After a lack of sheltering facilities for homeless people and skills development in the Tshwane region were identified, the collaboration between the Department of Social Development and the Life-Changing Ministry saw this need being filled when the shelter was officially opened on March 11, 2022.

The homeless shelter currently houses at least 200 men coming from homelessness related circumstanced backgrounds in need of immediate psychosocial support intervention.

Project manager, Tebogo Mpufane, said the Winter Shoe Drive started on 12 June 2022, and was inspired by the large number of beneficiaries living in shelters and in other areas without shoes, or wearing flip flops, during winter.

“We have about 180 men on site, but mostly we meet during outreaches and through stakeholder collaborations.

We are now primarily looking to collect sneakers, takkies and warm footwear, socks will be an added bonus donation.”

Mpufane said Life Changing Projects was started in October 2013 by Tebogo Sehlwane, a gender-based violence survivor.

“The need for establishing an organisation and programmes that are dedicated to the upliftment of the community, and the betterment of life within the community, started with our first programme, with the assistance of 12 volunteers working towards change and improvement of daily living in the community.”

He said that the men who they take into the shelter are not homeless, “they are rather involved in situations that prevent them from going home”.

He added that the shelter’s main focus is rehabilitation.

“As a society we tend to think that men are not abused and that they are not allowed to feel even though they can hurt deeply.

These men have already given up on life, making them believe that they are worthy after society has written them off is a very hard task,” said Mpufane.

Since its inception, the Life-Changing Project’s Centre has provided ongoing shelter, skills development and job creation.

Its programmes focus on prevention, early intervention as well as assisting community members with rehabilitation and reintegration.

While the shelter ensures that beneficiaries are looked after, you can help by donating to their winter shoe drive as the beneficiaries are in dire need of shoes to keep warm this winter.

Mpufane said the organisation identified the gap and lack of sheltering facilities for homeless people, and skills development in the Tshwane Region.

“The organisation has about 60 volunteers who provide various types of support, from programmes to activities, and address a multitude of socio-economic issues.

We focus primarily on sheltering more than 200 men and providing breakfast, lunch and supper, we also assist women and children.

Among the long list of programmes under the organisation’s ambit are feeding children during school holidays, after-school programmes, providing guidance and support to the youth to assist with job placement, working towards clean and healthy environments, and engaging young people in recreational and sport activities,” said Mpufane.

He said the organisation was solely reliant on donor funds and a development centre where training, skills and empowerment programmes were provided through partnership with academic institutions.

“The aim is to collect a thousand pairs of pre-loved shoes that are in good condition or new.

These can be dropped off at 18 Iris, 3rd Avenue Heatherdale, Akasia,” he said.

They are open to collect, every Monday to Friday, from 08:00 to 17:00.

For more information on the drive and how you can help the shelter, contact Tebogo Mpufane on 065 275 0681 or email