GPCID 24/7 emergency number: 082 214 3228

OKCID 24/7 emergency number: 082 217 1386

How you can help those most in need this winter

When winter arrives, it seems to happen bit by bit and then all at once. Suddenly, the coat at the back of your cupboard needs to be hauled out and dusted off, and everyone is walking around wrapped up in woolly scarves.

For most of us, this wonderfully chilly time calls for cosy fires and hearty meals. But this is only a reality for some. As the cold creeps in, others struggle desperately to try to keep dry and warm, praying to survive the harsh weather conditions with little-to-no protection.

The harsh reality 

At the end of 2021, the Daily Maverick published an article about the negative effect Covid-19 has had on homelessness in Cape Town. With the rise in job loss and loss of housing, basic needs are not being met for many. These needs are shelter, access to healthcare and sanitation, fair treatment by security forces, and economic opportunities.  

It has been shown that homelessness is often caused by traumatic life experiences like the loss of loved ones, job loss, or domestic abuse. Thankfully, there are people out there who make it their life’s work to help those who are often forgotten by society. But this work is not easy, nor profitable, which is why it so crucial for citizens to offer help where they can. 

How to help

There are so many NGOs and NPOs that do inspiring work to empowering and protecting the less fortunate and disadvantaged.

These organisations always require support, and there are a number of ways to offer help – whether financial or not. From volunteering your time or donating resources to simply helping to raise funds, any contribution goes a long way.

Who to help

Street Smart

This organisation improves the lives of less fortunate children by running empowering programs to uplift them. These programs are focused on family reunification, education, and skills training. 

Donate here.

The Haven Night Shelter 

The Haven Night Shelter steps in when individuals can no longer help themselves and desperately need support. The shelter provides temporary shelter, physical care, social welfare, and a sense of family. 

You can help by sponsoring a bed/s, joining a Covid-19 donate challenge or volunteering. To volunteer you can become a ‘’Heart of the Haven member.’’ These volunteers make regular donations to help the less fortunate by supplying them with necessities such as ID books and transport. 

Find out more ways to help

The Justice Desk 

The Justice Desk exists to protect the rights of children. The organisation provides child protection training and educational material creation, among other projects. The public can volunteer and assist this organisation in creating change.  

Send a volunteer application to this Email

It is always difficult to drive past somebody struggling in the cold, and you might feel helpless – wanting to avoid offering a hand out, but not sure how to help in a more sustainable way. 

By choosing to support a local charity, you can feel at ease knowing that you’re doing what you can to help the less fortunate in a responsible way, by ensuring that your money or donated goods are in safe hands. 

The above-mentioned organisations are just a few of many that need support this winter. When choosing an NPO to support, opt for one that resonates with you or your business, to grow connections that mean something to you.  

 

Our response to concerns regarding homelessness and illegal land invasions

The approach to finding sustainable solutions to help the homeless in Cape Town is shifting, especially in light of COVID-19.

The recent High Court judgement against the City and various other parties demonstrates an attempt by authorities to safeguard vulnerable persons across the metropolitan area while we endure this state of disaster. However, the judgement brings into question the impact of illegal informal occupation of land designated for public use.

The High Court interdict means that both the City and private landowners are prevented from demolishing unoccupied informal structures, or evicting people from them. The City are appealing the dangerous High Court interdict which prevents the protection of property from land invasion. They believe that changing this verdict is vital for them to uphold the Rule of Law and protect public land intended for services, housing, community facilities, schools and transport services.

What are we doing?

Our team and board of directors are reaching out to partners, landowners and concerned NGOs. We intend to coordinate a plan of action so that we can respond to, and rectify, the issue of the construction of illegal informal structures.

COVID-19 has taught us many things, not least the benefit of being more focused on our own communities. As the pandemic continues to affect the day to day activities and movements of the public under lockdown, there is growing concern over what our team are doing for the homeless and unemployed.

Our CEO, Marc Truss, explains how the GP/OKCID is dealing with the current homelessness situation in the Green Point and Oranje-Kloof areas: “Because of the High Court interdict preventing landowners from exercising their right to remove empty, unoccupied structures as a means of protecting property from invasion, we’re trying to work with, advise, and guide the homeless. We’re trying to communicate that we’re not hard and inflexible – we listen and offer solutions. We speak to the homeless and explain that we can’t give them a place to live, but to live on the street means they have to clean up after themselves. Those who don’t abide by this are warned, and as a final action, arrested. This has been working in the meantime.”

What you can do?

The most effective way for you to help the homeless is to give responsibly. Jane Meyer, MPRA coordinator, explains that giving responsibly means donating to NGOs and other organisations committed to helping the homeless, such as night shelters, rather than giving ad hoc donations to the homeless on the streets. By donating to shelters such as The Haven Night Shelter on Napier Street or the City’s Space in Culemborg and NGOs like Ladles of Love or RPJ Helping Hands, residents support assistance to, but also the continued social development, of the homeless. Read our recent blog post for more information on how you can help contribute to sustainable solutions.

Should you witness the start of illegal invasions of land or informal structures being constructed, please immediately call 107 (from a landline) or 021 480 7700 (from a cell phone) as the structure can only be removed if Law Enforcement arrive whilst it is being put up.

REPORT A PROBLEM

If you have information about any suspicious behaviour or witness a crime please report it to us immediately. Please provide as much detail as possible.

CONTACT US

If you have any questions or feedback please do not hesitate to contact us using the form below. We will respond as soon as possible.