The bridge to homeless help

A site has been identified for the creation of a safe space for homeless people.

City of Cape Town officials are currently planning a facility that will provide temporary overnight accommodation for people living on the streets, that will also give them access to social services (“Wanted: Sleep spot”, People’s Post, 28 March).

“The pilot site identified for this initiative is an area underneath the Culemborg bridge. It is currently zoned ‘transport zone 2’,” says JP Smith, Mayco member for safety, security and social services.

“It is not within the City’s mandate to provide shelters for street people, but the provision of a safe space will be a first point of contact from where social services can be accessed, and a temporary space to accommodate street people while a personal development and strategy plan or referral to a shelter can be put in place for the ­person.

“The social services directorate is currently investigating appropriate spaces in the CBD to pilot the safe space project,” Eddie Andrews, Mayco member (South), previously told People’s Post.

A City survey in 2015 identified over 4900 street people in the CBD and surrounds. Currently there are about 2000 beds available in shelters in and around the city.

Pat Eddy, social development manager of the Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID), explained to People’s Post that the facility would be regarded as “pre-shelter accommodation” and would be an interim measure to help those living on the streets by providing a space to sleep at night, ablution facilities and social services.

Smith confirms the City is considering creating a temporary safe space for street people and is in the feasibility and planning phase of this project.

“We will be in a position to comment further once the feasibility of this project has been confirmed.

“The City’s development management department will assess whether this usage can be accommodated at this site in terms of the City’s Municipal Planning Bylaw and advise the social development department on the process going forward.

“Until the process is confirmed, it is not possible to provide a definite answer on whether this project will go ahead on this site and if so, what the timelines associated would be.”

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