The City of Cape Town continues to direct resources to its unique and unprecedented response to the City’s homelessness crisis. Following a successful Care Programme that has seen 860 people helped off the streets between 2021 and 2022, the City is allocating more funds and implementing further initiatives to further help more people find their feet and reestablish themselves into society.
The City is working to add over 550 shelter beds this winter to help people off the streets. Four new dormitories are complete at City-run Safe Spaces in the CBD, while grant-in-aid funds are adding more beds at NGO-run shelters.
Over 430 beds are progressively being added to NGO-run shelters supported by the City’s Winter Readiness campaign budget (150 beds) and grant-in-aid funding (280 beds).
Increased capacity at the City’s Safe Space at Culemborg in the CBD brings the total new beds to 550 this winter across the metro.
Cape Town City’s Safe Spaces
The Safe Space model includes dignified shelter, comfort and ablutions, two meals per day, access to a social worker on-site, personal development planning, ID book and social grant assistance, access to substance and alcohol abuse treatment, skills training, help finding a job, and access to Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) work placement.
Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis has inspected completed dormitory units at the City’s Culemborg Safe Space. The Mayor also conducted site visits for a potential new Safe Space in the Muizenberg area last week together with Mayco Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Patricia van der Ross.
“Plans are gaining momentum to expand the City’s Care Programme to help more people off the streets. Our first step was to direct an extra R10 million to more shelter beds this winter, more than tripling the grant-funding for NGOs. We’ve now also upped the Care Programme budget to R77 million for 2022/23. Over the next three years, R142 million will go to expanding and operating City-run Safe Spaces beyond the CBD and Bellville.
“We are calling on Capetonians to help us Give Dignity by donating to recognised shelters and NGOs this winter. We can do more together to help people off the streets,” said Mayor Hill-Lewis.
Care Programme Progress
In the last year alone, from May 2021 to April 2022, the direct efforts of City officials have resulted in:
860+ people helped off the streets, through shelter placements, reunifying families, and other forms of reintegration.
1 150+ people participating in development programmes at City-run Safe Spaces
730+ EPWP work placements to help those staying at our Safe Spaces get back on their feet
720+ referrals for social grants, identity documents, specialised care facilities, and substance abuse treatment – with an 80% Matrix programme success rate to address addiction as a key driver of why people end up on the streets.
This is aside from what civil society is achieving, and the City is planning to do much more together with NGO partners and the national and provincial governments, who together hold the constitutional mandate for welfare and homeless shelters.
With its R77 million Care Programme in 2022/23, Cape Town is the only metro going above its municipal mandate to dedicate a social development budget to helping people off the streets sustainably.
Contact the PECC for help with shelter placement
Any enquiries and/or complaints relating to persons on the street can be directed to the City’s Public Emergency Communication Centre by dialing 021 480 7700 from a cellphone or 107 from a landline. This channel is also available for after-hours enquiries about shelter space. The PECC will activate standby teams to help determine where shelter space is available and related admissions criteria.