The City of Cape Town has announced that it will fund an additional 1000 bed spaces for several homeless shelters across the Province.
The decision to provide the additional bed spaces comes after the Western Cape Minister for Social Development, Sharna Fernandez, conducted a visit to the OWL Haven Shelter, a provincial Department of Social Development (DSD) funded shelter for homeless citizens situated in the Lansdowne area in Cape Town last week.
The provision of 1000 bed spaces for the 2021/2022 financial year, is over and above the 1499 bed spaces, which the Department already funds across 27 Shelters.
“We are cognisant of the crucial role that these shelters play in ensuring that this vulnerable grouping is treated with respect and dignity and having all their basics needs met. To this end, we will keep working with our NPO partners to improve the services delivered to those individuals residing in homeless shelters,” said Minister Fernandez.
How is the government assisting the homeless?
A guideline has been developed for managing homelessness during the Covid-19 pandemic, in line with the State of Disaster Protocols and has been shared with all related departments and municipalities.
“It was agreed to at the Disaster Management Provincial Joint Operations Centre that municipalities are responsible for homeless people that are not in shelters, and for providing alternative accommodation – such as community halls, etc. – to house them. This is the standard procedure during large scale disasters,” the city explained in a statement.
The provincial DSD prioritises the homeless by providing R35 million to 27 shelters, which will now be providing 2499 beds each day. The shelters also render social work services aimed at reunifying homeless adults with their families.
How you can help
If you would like to assist someone living on the street, you can help them in the following ways:
- Refer them to their nearest shelters for adults or children under 18
- Contact the Department of Social Development (DSD) hotline on 0800 220 250 to find out how to donate to registered Non-Profit Organisations (NPOs) and shelters that render services to people living on the streets.