THE PROBLEM: South Africa is a country of very visible inequality. Many want to help the homeless individuals, but aren’t sure how to go about doing so effectively. For the homeless, begging is a degrading and dehumanizing act, but often their only means of obtaining funds for living essentials.
THE CHALLENGE: How can the haves and have-nots of a country come together to assist those in need while preserving their dignity?
THE INSIGHT: What if there was a safe, mobile area for the homeless and other citizens to interact and exchange living essentials such as clothes?
THE SOLUTION: The Street Store is a rent-free, pop up store for the homeless. They are located in safe areas where it is easy to donate and collect. Cardboard posters with slits for hanging clothes are placed alongside a fence or standing structure, allow donors to easily hang up their donations and simultaneously making it easy for the homeless to find clothes they like. This replicable model is often the first dignified shopping experience for many, as it prevents the need for dumpster diving and begging.
THE IMPACT: The first pop-up store clothes 3,500 individuals. The open source model allows for anyone internationally to host their own Street Store. To date, over 121 stores worldwide have opened. Thousands have applied since November 2014.
THE INNOVATOR(S): Max Pazak & Kayli Levitan of Cape Town. Visit their website here.
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