‘Pro­ject Ho­pe’ aims to get pe­op­le off the s­treet per­ma­nent­ly

George Herald - - News -

Pro­ject Ho­pe is a pro­ject of Ge­or­ge Mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty to help chan­ge the li­ves of pe­op­le li­ving on the s­treet by cre­a­ting jobs, hel­ping pe­op­le through re­ha­bi­li­ta­ti­on and or­ga­ni­sing for the­se pe­op­le to reu­ni­te with their fa­mi­lies.

Ac­cor­ding to Estel­le F­re­de­ricks, coor­di­na­tor of Pro­ject Ho­pe, the main pur­po­se of the pro­ject is to as­sist pe­op­le to be sta­ble and self­suf­fi­cient in the long term.

“The­se ef­forts are being cur­bed by pe­op­le who sup­ply the pe­op­le li­ving on the streets with mo­ney and ot­her do­na­ti­ons in the form of food,” said F­re­de­ricks. “This ge­stu­re is me­ant for good, but cau­ses an in­flux of pe­op­le to the cen­tral bu­si­ness co­re that ma­kes t­hings very dif­fi­cult for pe­op­le wor­king in the so­ci­al sec­tor who want to get the­se pe­op­le off the s­treet.”

The­re are dif­fe­rent ca­te­go­ries of pe­op­le who spend their ti­me in the cen­tral bu­si­ness a­rea, ac­cor­ding to re­se­arch by the di­rec­to­ra­te of Com­mu­ni­ty Ser­vi­ces.

The ca­te­go­ries in­clu­de: a) Car guards who co­me to the cen­tral bu­si­ness cen­t­re e­ar­ly in the mor­ning to ge­ne­ra­te mo­ney and t­hen re­turn ho­me as soon as the shop­ping malls c­lo­se. b) Per­sons who on­ly co­me to beg e­very day - this in­clu­des ho­me­less pe­op­le and pe­op­le with ho­mes.

So­me pe­op­le gat­her in front of shop­ping cen­tres in the ho­pe that good Sa­ma­ri­tans will emp­ty their pur­ses to them.

So­me of the­se pe­op­le beg in bu­sy ro­ads, po­sing a dan­ger to ot­her ro­ad u­sers as well as the pe­op­le t­hey beg from.

Ac­cor­ding to F­re­de­ricks the a­vera­ge age of the beg­gars is get­ting less by the day. “The­se young­sters are s­chool-going age and walk a­round town for the im­me­di­a­te be­ne­fits beg­ging has, whi­le t­hey ha­ve to be in s­chool. Pa­rents al­so use their child­ren to beg whi­le t­hey ob­ser­ve from a dis­tan­ce.”

She says their big­ge­st chal­len­ge is to a­lert re­si­dents to the dis­ad­van­ta­ges of do­na­ti­ons to beg­gars.

Ge­or­ge Mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty has in­clu­ded a fly­er in the mu­ni­ci­pal ac­counts, of­fi­ci­als ha­ve had ra­dio talks on EDENfm and He­art­be­at FM and all mu­ni­ci­pal di­rec­to­ra­tes ha­ve ma­de fly­ers a­vai­la­ble to the pu­blic to in­form them of the­se so­ci­al is­su­es.

“Yet a­not­her of our ma­jor chal­len­ges is the in­flux of pe­op­le from out­si­de the Ge­or­ge a­rea, the sur­roun­ding vil­la­ges as well as ot­her vil­la­ges in the We­stern Ca­pe, who co­me to Ge­or­ge with the ho­pe of obtai­ning po­ten­ti­al em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties and end up on the streets,” says F­re­de­ricks.

Du­ring the past fi­nan­ci­al y­e­ar (2017/18), as part of Pro­ject Ho­pe, the Com­mu­ni­ty De­ve­lop­ment secti­on did mo­re than 17 sur­veys and re­se­arch on the com­plaints of the pu­blic.

The Ge­or­ge Mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty Com­mu­ni­ty De­ve­lop­ment Secti­on and ot­her or­ga­ni­sa­ti­ons ha­ve for­med a task te­am to get pe­op­le off the streets. The ot­her or­ga­ni­sa­ti­ons are Ge­or­ge Nig­ht S­hel­ter, C­rem­hog, De­part­ment of He­alth, the po­li­ce, De­part­ment of Jus­ti­ce, De­part­ment of So­ci­al De­ve­lop­ment, Kidstop, San­ca and mem­bers of the pu­blic. Mem­bers of the­se or­ga­ni­sa­ti­ons walk the streets in town and in­ter­view pe­op­le to get their in­for­ma­ti­on. The task te­am has a meet­ing on­ce a month.

Mo­re than 19 pe­op­le had the op­por­tu­ni­ty to work on the

EPWP (Ex­pan­ded Pu­blic Works Pro­gram­me) and wo­men are part of an en­tre­pre­neu­ri­al i­ni­ti­a­ti­ve, w­he­re t­hey ma­ke pro­ducts with be­a­ding and ot­her hand­work.

The mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty hel­ped mo­re than 32 pe­op­le in the past y­e­ar to reu­ni­te

Du­ring the past fi­nan­ci­al y­e­ar (2017/18), as part of Pro­ject Ho­pe, the Com­mu­ni­ty De­ve­lop­ment secti­on did mo­re than 17 sur­veys and re­se­arch on the com­plaints of the pu­blic.

with their fa­mi­lies and un­der cer­tain ci­r­cum­stan­ces pay for the­se pe­op­le’s bus tic­kets to get ho­me if it’s out­si­de of town.

In ma­ny in­stan­ces the mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty as­sis­ts des­ti­tu­te pe­op­le to get their i­den­ti­ty do­cu­ments, but on­ly on­ce t­hey ha­ve go­ne through all the checks and ba­lan­ces of the secti­on. Pe­op­le with a de­pen­den­ce on d­rugs are al­so as­sis­ted.

For in­for­ma­ti­on, con­tact F­re­de­ricks on 044 802 2015.

Ge­or­ge fi­re­man Sol­ly Gys­man (left), who com­pe­ted in the ar­ti­cu­la­ted vehi­cle ca­te­go­ry, was the o­ver­all win­ner of the an­nu­al Dri­ver of the Y­e­ar 2018 com­pe­ti­ti­on on Sa­tur­day. Ge­or­ge Mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty Traf­fic Chief Do­no­van Sap­toe was proud to hand o­ver trophies and pri­zes to a col­le­a­gue.

Estel­le F­re­de­ricks, the coor­di­na­tor of Pro­ject Ho­pe.

Dri­ver of the Y­e­ar coor­di­na­tor Ro­sa Louw (left) and Man­dy Damons ha­ve so­me fun whi­le trying out the ‘drun­ken gog­gles’.

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