We cannot wish homelessness away

Every homeless individual’s situation is unique. There is no quick fix for ending homelessness in a community. The issue is not as simple as lacking a roof over one’s head, but rather extends to a lack of access to social-economic opportunities that are essential for human survival, such as health services, quality education, and job opportunities.

Although there are many contributing factors to the prevalence of homelessness in our society, the hardships of this current pandemic will lead to a further increase in the number of people living on the streets in Cape Town. We must unite and contribute to long-term solutions as a community, especially as the relaxation of lockdown regulations causes makeshift homeless shelters to close.

What can I do?

First and foremost, we as the GP/OKCID urge you to donate to our local NGOs, rather than giving hand-outs at robots. Whilst cash donations to individuals can unintentionally perpetuate cycles of destitution, giving to an NGO or handing out vouchers for local shelters can support long-term solutions.

NGOs provide services which aim to help people build a more stable life, rather than just survive the next day. These include rehabilitation, reunion, and both social welfare and physical care. Our local players include Ladles of Love, who provide the hungry with warm, nutritious meals, and Haven Night Shelter, who offer shelter, meals, and rehabilitation services.

Organisations such as these are always looking for donations and volunteers to keep their offering open. Please head to their websites to find out more, or contact us for further information as to how you can contribute.

Fieldworkers from the Sea Point, Fresnaye and Bantry Bay (SFB) Ratepayers Association have also joined the existing Safety & Cleaning Initiative to aid homeless people on the Atlantic Seaboard. This collaboration, in cooperation with local NGOs and the City of Cape Town, is exactly the kind of alliance which can help bring change. This assistance includes helping people to obtain IDs and acquire jobs, as well as helping them to put a roof over their heads. You can support this initiative by visiting their website and donating whatever you can afford.

Our promise 

We believe in the broken window theory – a concept that “each problem that goes unattended in a given environment affects people’s attitude toward that environment and leads to more problems.” That is why we promise that our environment will remain well tended to, and that problems are dealt with when they arise, because this affects attitudes and leads to continued good management and maintenance. The GP/OKCID and Straatwerk cleaners will continue their work to keep our beautiful streets clean and looking their best, and our 24/7 CID patrollers will keep residents safe by providing security services to residents of Green Point and Oranje-Kloof. Furthermore, we hope that this information pushes us all to manage our homeless problem more sensitively and effectively to limit the negative impact on our community.

If you feel at all unsafe or want to report an incident, please call:

GP CID 24/7 Patrol Vehicles
082 214 3228

GP CID Operational Managers
071 670 3019/ 072 944 6811

OK CID 24/7 Patrol Vehicles
082 217 1386

OK CID Operational Managers
071 670 3019/ 072 944 6811

Let’s work together for a safer, fairer community for all as we build our post-covid society.

 

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