Street Store for homeless in Keetmanshoop

11 Sep 2016 14:10pm
KEETMANSHOOP, 11 SEP (NAMPA) – Eminence Events on Saturday presented a pop-up clothing store serving homeless and less-fortunate people for free on a street in Keetmanshoop.
The company, owned by Hazel Hinda and Desiree Mentor, collaborated with five students of the Namibia University of Science and Technology in hosting the clothing shop in the southern capital.
Hinda is an actress and vice-chairperson of the National Theatre of Namibia (NTN) and Mentor a public relations officer at the NTN.
It was the third street store the company hosted in Namibia.
Mentor describes the concept as the world’s first rent-free, premises-free clothing store for those unable to afford the basic necessities.
“The store is stocked entirely with donations and is aimed at connecting the rich and the poor, making it easier to donate and more dignified to receive,” she explained.
Jose van Zyl, 20, was one of over 100 people who showed up at the pop-up to select three clothing items of his choice on Saturday.
“I struggle on the streets, I feel better today having something to eat and getting these things,” he said, pointing to a shopping bag containing a pair of jeans, a shirt and flip-flops.
Lydia Skrywer, 37, heard people talking about the initiative and decided to make a turn.
“It is a very good thing that they are doing to help people,” she said.
Skrywer thought the shop was only for homeless people, but was pleased to walk off with three women’s tops after being nudged by one of the store assistants to browse for something.
“I don’t have a job, so it is a big relief to be given something I don’t have to pay for,” she said.
Hinda expressed hope that more people would engage in setting up stores where they live.
“We’d like to be an example to other young people and show that life is not only about having a career, but also about making a difference in our communities,” she said.
The “street store” concept took root in Cape Town, South Africa in 2014. Over 500 stores have since popped up across the globe.