Reaping What They Sew: Homeless Not Hopeless in Woodstock

The Woodstock Improvement District (WID) has a vision to empower homeless women in the area through an income-generating sewing project.

There are roughly 7 000 homeless people in Cape Town. With South Africa’s average unemployment rate at 26.5% in the first quarter of 2017, the numbers don’t look good for the mother city. In the Woodstock area alone, there are 21 homeless women that have been accounted for and 54 homeless people in total.

There is a great need for employment initiatives in the area, as well as a wealth of untapped, willing talent yearning for an opportunity to improve their way of life. WID seeks to bridge the gap and connect these pieces that obviously belong together.

More than five women have joined the project, which could see them improving their quality of life in a way that was not previously possible. Working from the WID offices, the avid sewers will meet three times a week to create handmade goods, such as scarves, scatter cushions and aprons. These items will be sold with all profits going directly to the new seamstresses.

Lewis Group Ltd have generously supported the project with a sewing machine to start making the initiative a working reality. WID social officer, Abigail Abrahams, said: “I want to thank Colleen Adams and the Lewis Group for assisting me with this donation – I look forward to showcasing our products soon.”

Chris Lloyd, WID general manager, said “We’re aware of so many areas that need attention in Woodstock. This is one sure way we can make a difference.” If you’d like to find out more about this project, donate sewing equipment or get involved, please email WID at

Woodstock Improvement District (WID) provides top-up cleaning and security services to one of Cape Town’s oldest residential and business nodes. Established in 2005, with the focus on security, cleaning and greening, WID continues to make a constructive contribution to making Woodstock a desirable place to live, work and play.