Care for street people

2019-06-11 06:00
Some of the attendees of the summit

Some of the attendees of the summit

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Stakeholders from different community organisations, officials from City of Cape Town’s Social Development (Early Childhood Development) and residents ascended to Town Centre on Tuesday 28 May. They were attending an awareness meeting organised by Local Network of Care (LNOC)/Homeless Street People Organisation in partnership with the City.

Carol Mentor, one of the organisers, said they hosted the event to raise awareness about the homeless.

She said there was a lot of false information that goes around about them.

“When people look at them, they forget that street people are just normal people who come from families but ended up on the streets because of different reasons,” Mentor said.

She said they have had engagements with street people and have heard their stories of how they ended up on the streets. Some of those stories included how they (street people) felt they were ill-treated at their homes.

According to Glenda Theunissen, secretary for Local Network of Care, the meeting was the beginning of more meetings to come. She said she was not going to reveal as to when the next would be, because they have to get all the relevant stakeholders on board before a date could be set.

Theunissen added they were impressed with the turnout and the support from the community.

“We have reached many organisations, our aim is to educate people about street people,” she explained.

She said they encouraged people to give responsibly to street people. By that, she said, they meant that people must donate whatever they wanted to, to charity organisations as opposed to handing out at traffic lights.

“If people give to a charity organisation, those donations could be used for more people than just one person at the traffic lights,” she said.

She said she appreciates the support from social development and all the other stakeholders that attended.

According to her, social development sent out a team of experts that have skills in dealing with street people.

Executive director for Blaqpearl Foundation and one of the stakeholders Janine Overmeyer said she attended the event to perform. She said she is passionate about community upliftment and she supports the LNOC organisation who mainly focus on assisting them.

“As residents we must learn to understand the circumstances and situations that cause people to live on the streets. Then assist them when they want help to rebuild their lives and have secured shelter like the rest of us,” she said.

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