City to tackle home­less­ness

Inner City Gazette - - Front Page -

By Staff Re­porter news@in­

The City of Joburg, which is a re­spon­sive and pro-poor gov­ern- ment, has es­tab­lished and strength­ened sev­eral pro­grammes aimed at as­sist­ing and manag­ing peo­ple liv­ing and work­ing in the streets.

Ac­cord­ing to the 2015 Hu­man MMC Mpho Pha­latse chats with res­i­dents at the City’s 03 Kotze Street overnight shel­ter in Hill­brow Sciences Re­source Coun­cil, South Africa has about 200 000 street home­less peo­ple. Home­less­ness is a com­plex term that has three dis­tin­guish­able char­ac­ter­is­tics which are pri­mary, sec­ondary and ter­tiary home­less­ness.

Pri­mary home­less is when a per­son does not have con­ven­tional shel­ter.

Sec­ondary home­less is when a per­son has ac­cess to tem­po­rary shel­ter. For ex­am­ple a per­son can be home­less in the ur­ban space but have homes in ru­ral ar­eas. Ter­tiary home­less­ness is char­ac­terised as some­one who has ac­cess to some form of hous­ing such as in­for­mal houses and trail­ers.

As part of the City’s com­pre­hen­sive strat­egy to as­sist the home­less, it has in­ter­ven­tions to break the cy­cle of peo­ple liv­ing on the streets and tran­si­tion them back into so­ci­ety.

The key in­ter­ven­tions man­aged by the City’s de­part­ment of So­cial De­vel­op­ment are; Shel­ter man­age­ment, aware­ness and pre­ven­tion, com­mu­nity rein­te­gra­tion, fam­ily re­uni­fi­ca­tion and skills de­vel­op­ment

The City’s 03 Kotze Street overnight shel­ter in Hill­brow has 150 beds. The shel­ter caters pri­mar­ily for eco­nom­i­cally ac­tive street-dwellers. Oc­cu­pants of the shel­ter are only ex­pected to pay a nom­i­nal fee of R8 and get ac­cess to wash­ing fa­cil­i­ties, food and a locker.

The Kotze Street shel­ter also pro­vides the Chow4Change aware­ness event that seeks to re­store the dig­nity of home­less and street peo­ple and com­mu­ni­cate their plight to greater so­ci­ety.

The Chow4Change aware­ness is done through the use of a pop-up restau­rant and sec­ond hand cloth­ing store.

The aware­ness pro­gramme ex­poses home­less and street peo­ple to a restau­rant set­ting, do­nated clothes, med­i­cal ser­vices, coun­selling, shel­ter place­ment and en­rol­ment to drug re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion as­sess­ment.

Some of the other in­ter­ven­tions of­fered by So­cial De­vel­op­ment in­clude out­reach ser­vices, where the de­part­ment tar­gets hotspots that are in­vaded by street and home­less peo­ple.

At the hotspots ed­u­ca­tion about the ser­vices avail­able for them and how to ac­cess them is given.

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