The Cape Navigator

Seaside Community Newspaper

Sea Point, St Helena Bay

A Remarkable Turnaround: Gary’s Journey from Homelessness to Hope

Michael Hawthorne

ST HELENA BAY – In a heartwarming update shared by Bernado Oosthuizen on The Atlantic Seaboard Community Forum, the community has rallied behind Gary Barnsley, who recently celebrated his 62nd birthday, marking a significant milestone in his journey from homelessness to hope. The funds raised through the Back a Buddy campaign are set to transform Gary’s life by addressing crucial dental needs, allowing him to flash an even brighter smile.

Bernado Oosthuizen expressed gratitude in a recent post, emphasizing the collective effort that made Gary’s progress possible. The funds raised will be directed towards Gary’s dental benefits, a development that has left him visibly excited about the prospect of reclaiming his oral health.

Gary’s life took a positive turn when he left the streets of Sea Point on October 14, 2023 – a day that not only marked his departure from homelessness but also signalled the last time he drank alcohol. His remarkable journey led him to Bernado’s farm in St Helena Bay, where he is determined to contribute and earn his keep.

Breaking free from a decade-long struggle with homelessness, Gary has faced the challenges of rebuilding his life, including dealing with the physical toll it took on his health. The community support has been instrumental in Gary’s transformation, enabling him to pursue a new ID, apply for SASSA, and engage in carpentry work to sustain himself.

Reflecting on Gary’s progress, Bernado shared that his birthday on January 29 was a celebration of not just another year but of newfound sobriety and resilience. The collective effort has empowered Gary to embrace a life free from addiction and homelessness, embodying the spirit of #CapeTownKindness in action.

The Back a Buddy page dedicated to Gary sheds light on his journey, detailing the challenges he faced and the milestones achieved. Having conquered homelessness and addiction, Gary is now focused on addressing his health needs, including new teeth, glasses, and necessary medications. The plea for support echoes not just for Gary but for the broader mission to help more individuals like him find hope and stability.

As the community continues to stand together, Gary’s story serves as a testament to the transformative power of compassion and collective action. The Atlantic Seaboard Community Forum remains at the forefront of fostering kindness and positive change, ensuring that the spirit of support reverberates through the streets of Cape Town.


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