A total of 19 non-governmental organisations have qualified to receive aid from the City to help them deal with the expected influx of street people seeking shelter during the cold winter months. Read more below:
The City of Cape Town’s Social Development and Early Childhood Development Directorate has officially launched its winter readiness programme to assist street people.
This year, the directorate is spending R699 000 in total on the programme. Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) were required to apply for a share of the aid. A total of 30 applications were received and 19 applicants met the qualification criteria, including being registered NGOs or non-profit organisations, having facilities where people can overnight, and complying with all health and safety regulations.‘We have seen a slight increase in the number of shelters that have qualified for aid, but many organisations are still failing to make the grade. Some submissions came after the deadline, others didn’t have proper documentation or the type of facilities conducive to accommodating people. We will be evaluating all of the late submissions to see if we can assist those organisations that would have qualified, because it’s in everyone’s best interests to have as many spaces available as possible for street people to access,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Social Development and Early Childhood Development, Councillor Suzette Little.
The programme sees the City distributing aid in the form of blankets, mattresses, non-perishable food and toiletries to NGOs to increase their capacity to deal with the number of street people seeking shelter and assistance during the winter months. The organisations who qualified are situated in areas across the city, including Somerset West, Bellville, Kalk Bay, Kraaifontein, Elsies River, Retreat, Wynberg, Woodstock, Delft, Kensington, Claremont, Lavender Hill, Simon’s Town, Ottery, Faure, Athlone and Green Point.
‘We’re always looking for ways to further improve our programme. In the new financial year, we will also engage with churches to possibly make space available for our winter readiness programme. The weather is becoming more and more unpredictable, but we’ve witnessed a few severe weather spells already in recent months and the nights are definitely getting colder. People need a place they can turn to and so we need to make sure that we have as many organisations on board as possible,’ added Councillor Little.
The City will continue its daily interventions aimed at securing more long-lasting solutions for street people who want assistance. The Directorate’s fieldworkers and social workers are deployed across Cape Town to engage with street people and facilitate access to services that they may require.
Members of the public are encouraged to contact the City’s toll-free number on 0800 872 201 to find out how they can donate to organisations that assist street people. Alternatively, SMS ‘Give’ to 38802 to donate R10. The funds will be used to supplement the Street People Programme.