According the Gini Index, South Africa has one of the highest levels of income inequality in the world, with the top five percent of earners receiving a hugely disproportionate percentage of the nation's annual income. This problem is further exacerbated by the fact that the nation has an unemployment rate of around 20 percent. And given the sheer number of people in need on a daily basis, the South African government is ill-equipped to provide the assistance necessary to ensure an acceptable standard of living for the people of the country. With few other options available, millions of South Africans have been forced onto the streets and now beg on a daily basis.
So, in an effort to restore a bit of the dignity of those who find themselves in this situation, not-for-profit organisation the Haven Night Shelter has launched the Street Store, a campaign that gives the homeless an opportunity to select from items that have been donated by those who are more privileged.
Initially launched in Cape Town, the campaign quickly gained online traction and has now spread to the extent that there are over 400 stores in progress across the world.