World Homeless Day: Department encourages public to ‘Give Responsibly’
As we mark World Homeless Day, the Western Cape Department of Social Development (DSD) continues to call on the public to ‘Give Responsibly’.
The Department partnered with an NGO partner, Al-Imdaad, to donate 100 hygiene and sanitary packs to registered homeless shelter, Elim Night Shelter in Elsies River.
Homelessness is a major concern, as it often sees some of the more vulnerable segments of society - women, children and the elderly - live in dangerous conditions on the streets. This exposes them to crime and personal danger, and given the poor living conditions, can lead to some abusing substances like alcohol and drugs as a coping mechanism.
To tackle homelessness, the Department has allocated R15.7-million to 64 NGOs which render services to people living on the street. This funding also reaches a growing network of 23 shelters for homeless people.
These shelters provide 1391 bed spaces, and have a responsibility to promote the delivery of safe, accountable and cost-effective services for homeless people.
The largest numbers of homeless people are found in the greater Cape Town area. According to the latest Street People Survey, there is an estimated 4862 people living and sleeping on the streets. Of this number, an estimated 700 live in the CBD.
Key to our efforts as a Department is the assistance we provide to reunify street people with their families and communities. The Department provides 15 specialist families social workers and 2 social work supervisors to render reunification and families’ services.
We continue to call on the public to play their part. Do not give direct handouts on the street. This results in people staying on the street instead of seeking assistance from an NGO. The public can contact the DSD hotline on 0800 220 250 to find out how to donate to registered NGOs and shelters which render services to people living on the streets.
Spokesperson for Albert Fritz, Minister of Social Development
Western Cape Government
7th floor, 14 Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town, 8000
Tel : (021) 483 9217
Cell : 076 083 6543
Email : Sihle.Ngobese@westerncape.gov.za