Premier urges homeless and vulnerable to access social services
Media release: Premier urges homeless and vulnerable to access social services
Premier Alan Winde has today highlighted the support services which the Western Cape Government offers to all homeless and vulnerable people in the Western Cape.
These services are in addition to the range of services offered by the City of Cape Town, which in recent years has seen an increase in people living on the streets, often in dangerous locations.
In order to bring these unlawful occupations to an end, the Western Cape High Court has granted the City of Cape Town’s application for eviction notices to be served at certain sites in the CBD, which is a crucial step in the recovery journey for our region, after the Covid-19 pandemic. Approaching the court was a last resort after the City made multiple attempts to offer social assistance to unlawful occupiers, which some have refused.
“With the support available from both the City and the provincial government, it is time for those who are living in public spaces to vacate in favour of assisted shelter and care. The Western Cape Government offers a range of services to residents who are currently homeless. We have put these services in place so that our residents can access a warm meal, a place of shelter, and counselling services, during a time of need, and we implore all our partners to assist us in getting the message out there that help is available. It is our hope that by knowing help is available and that by receiving support, homeless and vulnerable people are able to re-integrate into society,” said the Premier.
- The Western Cape Department of Social Development (DSD) has allocated R50 million toward Community Nutrition and Development Centres (CNDCs) and Community-Based Organisations (CBOs);
- An additional top-up allocation of R25 million has been made to Community-Based Kitchens and CNDCs for the period of January to March 2023;
- The Department currently supports 68 CNDCs, and 512 CBOs, which feed vulnerable individuals. There has been an increase in feeding sites, from 92 in 2020 to 570 in 2023. The reach of feeding sites has increased five-fold;
- The CNDCs currently provide food relief services 5 days per week reaching up to 11467 ( non-cumulative) vulnerable individuals every quarter;
- Community-Based Kitchens currently provide food relief services at least 3 days a week and 18 3950 beneficiaries received meals from April to September last year;
- Currently CBOs provide meals to beneficiaries 5 days a week in rural areas and on 4 days in urban areas;
- Provincial Treasury has allocated R18 million in the coming financial year for capital works on a new shelter in the Cape Town CBD. This project will address the urgent need for accommodation for those living on the streets. The Department currently funds 2398 bed spaces in homeless shelters eacr day. The new, “Hope Shelter” will bring the total number of DSD-sponsored bed spaces to its COVID recovery plan target of 2500.
- The latest addition of beds at facilities has been in Fish Hoek, Elsies River, and Wellington;
- The Somerset West family shelter is also a first for the province and will continue to operate as a space to keep homeless families intact. Every year the social workers we fund at these shelters reunite nearly 600 homeless people with their families; and
- There is a range of social services available to the homeless including referrals for substance abuse treatment and counselling.
Premier Winde concluded, “We are a caring government, but we also need to consider everyone’s rights and responsibilities. We appreciate that the City has made multiple offers of assistance and that approaching the courts for assistance is the last resort. We note that eviction notices will now be served, and we hope that these notices encourage homeless residents who have thus far refused assistance, to take up these genuine offers of help.”