Galileo Picnic Thursdays are held in Cape Town’s most popular botanical garden
LGBT+ Counselling Centres and Shelters in Cape Town
A comprehensive guide to organisations in the Mother City that lend a helping hand to the LGBT+ community
Last Updated: 6 June 2017
While the Mother City is often regarded as the gay capital of Africa, there are still many incidences of violence and hate crimes experienced by the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+) community on a regular basis.
Among the results of the 2015 Gauteng City-Region Observatory Quality of Life Survey, 14% of Gautengers agreed that it’s acceptable to be violent to gay and lesbian people. That represents around 1.26 million people in the province and reflects an increase from 13% in 2013. Equally shocking, only 56% of respondents felt that gays and lesbians deserve equal rights. This is a significant and saddening drop compared to 2013 when 71% agreed with the statement
We've put together this guide that lists support groups and institutions dedicated to helping the LGBT community with mental and health services in Cape Town and South Africa.
LGBT+ SUPPORT GROUPS, SHELTERS AND COUNSELLING CENTRES IN CAPE TOWN
OUT is dedicated to the building of healthy empowered lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities in both South Africa and internationally. OUT's mission is to reduce heterosexism and homophobia in society.
Good to Know: The organisation has been around for over 21 years and is a professional service organisation focusing on proving mental and health services for LGBT people. Based in Tshwane (Pretoria), OUT's work takes place on local, provincial, national, continental and international levels. OUT's focus areas of work are direct health and mental health services, research, mainstreaming and advocacy.
Emergency Helpline: +27 (0) 12 430 3272
1081 Pretorius Street | Hatfield | Pretoria
The Triangle Project
Formed in 1996, this much-respected organisation has played an immense role in challenging homophobia and promoting sexual diversity in the Mother City. The establishment, with headquarters in Mowbray, offers services such as healthcare, one-on-one counselling, assistance with hate crimes and legislation, and much more.
Good to Know: The Triangle organisation also has ‘Safe Spaces’, a project that assists with the establishment of activity hubs in various communities in Cape Town. To join one visit triangle/org.za/safe-spaces/
Emergency Helpline: Triangle provides a safe space for members of the LGBT+ community to talk about absolutely anything and seek assistance with anything. Call them on +27 (0) 21 712 6699. Do note that the line is open from 1pm to 9pm, seven days a week.
Elta House | 3 Caledonian Road | Mowbray | +27 (0) 21 686 1475
Pride Shelter Trust
This city centre-based Victorian house welcomes anyone from the LGBQTI+ who finds themselves in a situation that has left them stranded, helpless and alone. This shelter provides free lodging, yummy food, a warm environment, and the support needed to get life back on track. In addition, Pride Shelter provides professional counselling and sexual health services and some are in association with the Health4Men organisation.
Good to Know: In order to get accommodation, folk need to ensure that they go for an intake interview at the shelter. Interviews take place every day between 8am and 5pm.
Emergency Helpline: +27 (0) 21 423 2871
1 Molteno Road | Oranjezicht | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 423 2871
Same Love Toti
This organisation, formed in 2010 and previously known as PFLAG, seeks to provide support, counselling and resources to parents and youths of the LGBTQI+ community. Although based in Durban, the group does have a keen focus on telephonic and email correspondence, with a primary focus to build connections and provide a lending ear to any parent or friend that needs to talk to someone or seek advice. The group also has an extensive list of LGBTQIA+ friendly doctors, healthcare services and psychologists.
Good to Know: The organisation is part of a KwaZulu-Natal provincial task team and provides research to assist in curbing hate crimes and homophobia in the country.
Emergency Helpline: +27 (0) 84 700 2536
For more information, visit the ‘Same Love Toti’ Facebook Group
Health4Men Support Group
Born out of a need to respond to the widely neglected aspect of gay sexual health, this organisation offers a free monthly support group for men living with HIV, which takes place every third Wednesday of the month. The professionally facilitated and confidential support group provides attendees from all walks of life with a safe space to air their grievances ask tough questions and, most of all, be part of a friendly support system while meeting people in a similar life situation.
Good to Know: The organisation also provides free HIV screenings, free antiretroviral treatments, free screenings for sexually transmitted infections and one-on-one counselling. Services are available in Woodstock and Khayelitsha.
Support Group Contact Details: +27 (0) 21 421 6127 or email@example.com
Support Group Address: 1st Floor Anatoli Building | Napier Street | Green Point | Cape Town
Woodstock Clinic Address: Ivan Tom’s Centre For Men’s Health | Victoria Walk Road | Woodstock | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 447 2844
Khayelitsha Clinic Address: Siseko Men’s Clinic | Site C | Taxi Rank | Khayelitsha | +27 (0) 21 388 5584
Sonke Gender Justice
Founded in 2006, this human rights non-profit organisation has taken strides in the field of gender justice, achieving gender equality, preventing gender-based violence and HIV/AIDS awareness. Within the LGBTQI+ group, Sonke Gender Justice provides the tools necessary for people in the community to conduct workshops, set up community mapping exercises and to also address sexual violence, hate crimes and hate speech.
Good to Know: The NGO is active in advocacy and lobbying and also plays a role in giving input on legislation pertaining to gender issues in South Africa. To volunteer or to contact Sonke Gender Justice in relation to LGBTQI+ rights, email Keegan Lakay at firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Number: +27 (0) 21 423 7088
4th Floor Westminster House | 122 Longmarket Street | +27 (0) 21 423 7088
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Looking for places to lend a helping hand in the Mother City? Here’s our write-up of Places to Volunteer in Cape Town
Want to give back, but hard-pressed for free time? Consider donating money to one of these Cape Town charities, or rather round up some of your old clothes and drop them off at one of these needy venues. Subscribe to our newsletter, follow us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.