LETTER: Great service to street people

2016-01-26 06:00

I wish to respond to People’s Post’s article and express my gratitude for the service offered by the social development department’s social outreach team who provided exceptional service in Rosebank over the festive period.

They were available each time I logged a request and always followed up telephonically. I was on hand twice, as they helped Moses Manus (“Sakkie”) access medical help – once via ambulance and once by car, to two different medical facilities (Hanover Park Day Hospital and Victoria Hospital in Wynberg).

When he found the Schaapkraal shelter “too noisy”, he discharged himself and returned to the quiet of Rosebank. He was then allocated a place in the Wynberg shelter, but again the allure of Rosebank was too great.

By now, he had used up his six allocated interventions (if not more) by the social development department. Now I have understanding why this rule applies – think ambulance, time, shelter, transport – all paid for by the taxpayer. The next resort is to call the City’s law enforcement department if a by-law is being broken, or in this case, trespassing is occurring.

I felt truly mean doing this, and was glad not to witness his removal. My overactive imagination saw him murdered by gangsters in Pollsmoor and suffering all sorts of other awful disasters – all because of me.

A week later, there he was, filthy as always, with his toothless smile, hanging around outside Rustenburg Pharmacy. No hard feelings from his side – I was so relieved to see him, I almost hugged him.

But the boundaries have been set. The last time seen, he had settled close to the bead sellers on Park Road.

Sincere thanks to Ruweida Lakay, Randall Brown and Fundiswa Phillips-Mdini, supervisor: reintegration social development and early childhood development for their concrete assistance, as well as in their help in explaining the City’s policy to me.

Gill LanhamRosebank

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