A 25-year-old woman has revealed how she ventured into prostitution after being evicted from a shelter home and roamed the streets with her two children.
This was after she had been evicted from Ikhaya Lethemba shelter in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, South Africa.
While the shelter said she left because she constantly broke the rules, she told Daily Sun she had no choice but to become a prostitute.
The shelter accommodates women survivors of crime and violence. The woman and her children, aged five, had been living at the shelter since March following a case of domestic violence involving her boyfriend.
People at the shelter sign a policy contract that states they are accommodated for six months. When they leave they have to be tested to see if they are ready to go back into society.
The woman said she was never asked to take part in developmental programmes.
“Nothing was offered except a bed and a limited amount of food. My kids were suffering because very little was provided,” she said. “I had to find ways to provide for my children. Some women in the shelter introduced me to prostitution.”
She said customers paid R100 and sometimes she came back with R700. She said the shelter knew about their activities.
The woman said she was told to leave on 15 December. After sleeping at the Zoo for a few nights, a local church helped her to travel to a relative in Limpopo.
But Gauteng community safety spokesman Ofentse Morwane said the woman broke the rules by leaving her two children while she went out drinking.“In November she was given 21 days’ notice to leave but she stayed without permission,” said Morwane. “She said she would rather stay with her grandmother in Polokwane but refused to provide her grandmother’s contact details.”
He said she moved from the shelter on 18 December.
“She was aware that the shelter was in the process of arranging alternative accommodation but she left. The shelter took her actions as self-exit.”