One year of helping people living on the street

2016-10-12 06:00

LIVING on the streets (LOTS), a programme initiative by local organisations, and supported by the municipality, has been open for a year this month and continues to rehabilitate people, who live on the streets.

LOTS, which was previously run by Businesses Fighting Crime (BFC), was handed over to the Msunduzi Innovation and Development Institute (Midi) three months ago.

“Midi has been managing the project for the past three months, with the support of a management team of role players who understand the needs of this vulnerable group of young people.

“The team is busy with an annual review of the project and a series of discussions are under way, which include a recommendation for a pre-admission screening process of young people who wish to enter the programme,” said project manager and Midi director, Irene Dugmore.

Last year Msunduzi Municipality allocated a house at 42 Havelock Road to the LOTS project, which has been dedicated to housing people living on the streets.

Dugmore said there are currently 20 young people in the house, with a social worker, who is responsible for the counselling and reintegration programme.

During the initial months of the LOTS programme many of the people living on the streets continued to take drugs and behave violently. At one point last year the house was filled to capacity with 36 people in a house.

There were 16 on whoonga and the rest on either dagga or glue. At the time, project manager Debbie Harrison said their addictions are so intense that she used to check if they were still breathing every morning. The people were getting money for drugs by begging on the streets.

Msunduzi Municipality have since placed a 24-hour security at the house to ensure that there is no violence and drug abuse.

“The project was handed over to Midi after Business Fighting Crime could not continue with the project. There are 24-hour security personnel in the building offered by the municipality.

“There is a social worker employed by Midi, who works there and there is funding that was transferred by Business Fighting Crime to Midi,” said Thobeka Mafumbatha, municipality marketing and communications manager.

“While some young people are still seen on the streets, especially begging from motorists at the busy intersections, the public can be assured that this project aims to offer an alternative to living on the street,” said Dugmore.

For more information, contact Dugmore on 033 342 8266

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