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City commemorates World Homeless Day<span><p>World Homeless Day is celebrated annually on 10 October and aims to draw attention to the needs of people living on the street and provides opportunities for communities to get involved in responding to homelessness.</p><p>This year, the City engaged the street people sector, including representatives of the street people community to agree on a model which will speak to improved cooperation between the City, NGOs, CIDs, shelters as well as representatives of the street people community. </p><p>This change in approach follows on from the decentralisation of the street people unit into the four City areas. This will ensure that the city’s services act and respond quicker to the needs of our homeless communities as well as other residents. Additionally, this will improve integration between role players in the sector and the provision of services and programmes that address their needs.</p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img class="responsive" src="" alt="" /> </figure></span><span><p>'One of the purposes of World Homeless Day is to draw attention to homeless people’s needs locally and provide opportunities for the community to get involved in responding to homelessness,’ said Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Zahid Badroodien.</p><p>In August 2020, the City initiated its early stakeholder engagement. This conversation took place with organisations, service providers, residents and homeless people. The facilitators engaged a broad range of cross-sectoral stakeholders through a series of dialogues. The information gathered will be integrated into the drafting of the new strategy being driven by the Social Development and Early Childhood Development department.</p><p>As the City’s internal policy review process begins, extensive inputs will be sought, a public participation process conducted and a final draft submitted before finally being approved by Council. It is anticipated that this process will be completed by June 2021.  </p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img class="responsive" src="" alt="" /> </figure></span><span><p>'I want to encourage those who have the interests of street people at heart, to become involved and make their voices heard. Homelessness affects us all and it will take a collective effort to address it holistically. I discourage any efforts by individuals or organisations to use the issue of homelessness as a political soccer ball. The lives and experiences of our vulnerable communities are not for the cheap scoring of political points. Instead, local government and all stakeholders must work together to find sustainable solutions to this growing crisis in our city,' added Councillor Badroodien.</p><p>Melene Rossouw, specialist in public and constitutional law and founder of Women Lead Movement, presented some insights into the findings made during the early stakeholder engagement. These recommendations will be submitted to Councillor Badroodien upon its finalisation. </p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img class="responsive" src="" alt="" /> </figure>​​</span><span>​​</span><span>​​</span><p>‘This report will speak to the soul of our city. It will describe how our society continues to perpetuate harmful and discriminatory attitudes and behaviours towards those who are homeless. It will address the absence of a national strategy, which aims to disrupt the increase in homelessness’ said Ms Rossouw. </p><p>Other activities during the commemoration included education and creating awareness about homeless issues; celebrating and supporting local good works, and highlighting local issues.</p><p>Smaller commemorative events were held at the City Safe Spaces. Each of these events had taken on its own identity as communicated by the needs of the residents at the respective Safe Spaces.</p><p><br><strong>End</strong><br></p>2020-10-13T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#e8551c6e-d07b-410f-82d7-c7015c240416;L0|#0e8551c6e-d07b-410f-82d7-c7015c240416|Homeless;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#3cc24fb7-843d-4263-8e61-b3d7292ff76d;L0|#03cc24fb7-843d-4263-8e61-b3d7292ff76d|Elderly;GP0|#71b82f79-8c5f-45bf-8c3b-6c63ac8549be;L0|#071b82f79-8c5f-45bf-8c3b-6c63ac8549be|outreach programme10

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