Increase in elderly street people

2015-10-01 06:00
The rising standard of living could be contributing to the increasing number of homeless pensioners.

The rising standard of living could be contributing to the increasing number of homeless pensioners.

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THE number of elderly street people is growing in the Port Shepstone CBD, the majority of whom are female.

Wim van Niekerk, the Hambabuya Homeless Shelter spokesperson, confirmed that there has been an increase in the number of homeless people on the South Coast.

“In our shelter we have noticed there is an increase of people who come to us looking for shelter, the majority of them, especially the adults, are not from the coast.”

Van Niekerk said most of the homeless white people are from Gauteng who come to enjoy the sea unprepared.

“These people come from Gauteng thinking if they come down to the coast they will make a living from begging from holidaymakers in holiday­ season, but when holidays are over they end up on the streets penniless and they can’t go back to where they come from and end up in shelters.”

Van Niekerk said that local street people are young people who run away from home because of drug addiction.

“The young street children are very difficult to work with. They are just children who run away from home because they are on drugs. The worst part is that even when you take them to a shelter they don’t want to stay there, they want to be on the streets where there are no rules.”

Van Niekerk said they have a good relationship with Department of Social Development and sometimes people are reunited with their family.

Van Niekerk said the problem is to get worse because one of the local shelters, that house about 90 people, is to close down soon.

“One of the shelters on the coast will be closing down by the end of the month and more people will be left on the street.”

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