Homeless shelter ordered to shut down

2016-09-22 06:00

THE homeless and the elderly will be left without a roof over their heads at the end of September as the shelter they are staying in will close down.

The Nehemia Upliftment Centre, the former Umtentweni Hotel, has been ordered to evacuate the premises after failing to pay for electricity and water. A pensioner from the centre, who asked to remain anonymous told the Fever that she and three other elderly residents don’t know where they will be going after they were asked to find alternative accommodation.

She said other people from the shelter moved out and its only the three of them who are having trouble finding a place to live.

She said a court order issued by the Durban High Court was issued to the manager a while ago. Pastor Freddie Venter, who has been running the shelter for some time, confirmed they have to evacuate the premisses by the end of the month. The pastor, however, said there are 19 people who still live there, not three.

“We were able to get accommodation for most of the people but we are still trying to see what is going to happen to those who have not yet found place,” said Venter.

Ray Nkonyeni Municipality spokesperson Simon April has confirmed that there is a problem at the shelter and that the municipality is dealing with the management of the building.

“Yes, I can confirm that there are litigations with regards to the building as a result of non-compliance with building requirements and also failure to pay the necessary bills,” said April.

The pensioner said the biggest concern for the elderly is that at other centres and retirement homes there are waiting lists and are expensive as they are dependant solely on their government pension.

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