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City increases budget allocations to assist street people <p>​The City of Cape Town’s Social Development and Early Childhood Development Department is spending just shy of R27 million on interventions for street people in this financial year. <br> <br>This is an increase of R4,5 million compared to the previous financial year, designed to bolster the department’s interventions in making a lasting difference in the lives of persons living on the street.<br> <br>The funding will go towards the operations of the City’s three safe spaces, winter readiness programme to lend support to shelters and ongoing awareness and education drives.<br> <br>In addition, the City will also facilitate employment opportunities for 934 street people through the Expanded Public Works Programme in this financial year, with the assistance of external shelter organisations.<br> <br>‘Homelessness is one of society’s very complex matters, and it elicits very strong opinions. Healthy and informed debates are crucial to the process, as we grapple with finding lasting solutions. Unfortunately we find that the conversation is often limited to the issue of shelter spaces as a silver bullet. In doing so, the mammoth efforts of our reintegration unit to help move people off the street in a sustainable manner go unnoticed.<br> <br>‘Apart from helping willing participants find a temporary shelter, our staff, in conjunction with the City’s many non-governmental partners, work to help secure identity documents for individuals, which in turn help them apply for grants or to find employment. They facilitate referrals to medical care, but also other social services, and more importantly, they go the extra mile to help reunite people on the street with their families. This is not something that happens overnight, because often there are fractured family relations that need to be addressed before a reunion can happen. All of this work happens on a daily basis,  but is seldom acknowledged,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Zahid Badroodien.<br> <br>In South Africa, national and provincial governments hold the constitutional welfare mandate and budget. However, the City is going above and beyond its municipal mandate to assist people living on the street. In the past five years, the dedicated Reintegration Unit of Social Development & ECD  has achieved the following:<br> </p><ul><li><div style="text-align:left;">Over 1 600 shelter placements completed to help people get off the streets on a sustainable basis</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Over 1 550 street people benefitted from EPWP work placements by City social development & ECD services </div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Over 575 street people were reunified with family or friends</div></li></ul><p>‘Our staff engage with hundreds of individuals each month. The reality is that many refuse offers of assistance. Where there is a willingness to accept help, it often takes time to build a rapport between staff and their clients, so it requires dedication, commitment and trust from both sides. It is not as simple as some people choose to believe. <br> <br>‘As we commemorate World Homeless Day, I applaud the efforts of every staff member in our Social Development and Early Childhood Development Department who go out into the field every day, hoping to make a positive difference in the life of a person living on the streets. I also applaud those persons who have taken advantage of what is available to help them get off the streets. Just think of how many more people we could be assisting if everyone was invested in longer term, sustainable solutions to homelessness,’ added Councillor Badroodien.<br> <br> <br><strong>End</strong></p>2021-10-09T22:00:00ZGP0|#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|#13dff606-5cfa-42c8-b9da-e6e516e6e771;L0|#013dff606-5cfa-42c8-b9da-e6e516e6e771|Street People;GP0|#191b1b12-4267-46d3-a6e7-02be3df25e7a;L0|#0191b1b12-4267-46d3-a6e7-02be3df25e7a|budget10


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