City of Cape Town takes part in the winter readiness campaign for the homeless

2018-04-29 20:00

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The City of Cape Town will disburse aid to seven organisations that have all successfully applied for assistance during winter.

Aid consists of food, blankets, mattresses, toiletries and cleaning materials to help cater for an expected increase in the number of homeless people seeking shelter during the cold winter months.

The City's Social Development Directorate is providing R450 000 in aid to organisations, including the provision of an additional 115 bed spaces and 40 Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) job opportunities.

"The City's EPWP aims to help facilitate and create employment opportunities for those residents who are in need of financial relief," Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security; and Social Services, Alderman JP Smith said.

"At the same time, it facilitates the development of practical work experience and in this instance it will alleviate the load at night shelters."

According to a statement from the City, every organisation that applied for aid was subjected to a rigorous vetting process. It was ensured that each organisation had overnight facilities that comply with the relevant health and safety requirements.

Each successful applicant also had to agree to a site inspection before final approval was granted.

A memorandum of agreement was signed between the City and the respective organisations last week to ensure that all parties comply with their roles and responsibilities.

"Winter is an especially hard time for people living on the street and often there is an additional burden on the organisations that assist them," Smith said.

"We want to do what we can to help them provide street people with access to warm bedding, food, and toiletries as they cope with an increased demand when temperatures drop. Homeless shelters are essential in ensuring that street people are properly cared for in a safe environment."

He commended the many workers and volunteers who give of their time in the city's homeless shelters.

"They provide constant care to some of Cape Town's most vulnerable residents," Smith said.

The organisations that received aid include Elm Night Shelter in Elsies River, Happy Valley Home in Simon's Town and Mould, Empower, Serve in Belville.

Members of the public are encouraged to contact the City's toll-free number on 0800 872 201 to find out how they can assist.

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