Souper Troopers started with a pot of soup and a realisation that Cape Town communities can create meaningful change through small acts of kindness.
Kerry Hoffman was inspired to connect with the most marginalised individuals – people living on the streets. One day of serving soup and sandwiches from an urban pavement to homeless individuals led to a vision that gestures like these could bring about positive change in an increasingly negative space.
In June 2014, Souper Troopers was formed.
We, in Cape Town, are aware of the prevalence of homelessness. Homeless people go without having their basic human needs met. Instead of aiming to ‘solve the problem,’ Souper Troopers provide specific events and services that bring homeless people some dignity and attention.
Souper Troopers have had 36 ‘socials’ (monthly events) that are a platform for allowing homeless individuals a space to have some fun and feel ‘human.’ Significantly, these events are frequently run together with people on the street. Some help in the kitchen, others give haircuts, and most of the people attending always help with keeping an eye out, making sure everything runs smoothly.
Through collaboration with volunteers, homeless individuals, and corporates, the monthly socials have included:
– haircuts and a wholesome meal
– pop-up boutique clothing spaces that allow homeless individuals to ‘shop’ in a dignified manner.
– Mobile showers
– The donation of toiletries
– Games and other entertainment, and the opportunity to celebrate birthdays
We are all human. We all have a story. Together we are the change.
We just want people to acknowledge that we are also people.George - homeless trooper