The City of Cape Town is working with far south religious, civic, and non-profit organisations to establish a reward system for the homeless.
The initiative, Project Home, will run daily training workshops in Simon’s Town, Fish Hoek, Kalk Bay, and Muizenberg in exchange for food vouchers.
Pastor Shaddie Valayadum, founder of My Father’s House, a food kitchen in Simon’s Town, said Project Home was a collaboration by organisations that had years of experience helping the homeless.
The workshops are intended to reintegrate the homeless into society and teach them responsibility and accountability.
The homeless will start earning meal vouchers as of Monday December 6 for use from Monday December 13.
Community support was vital, said Pastor Valayadum.
“People are enabling the homeless to stay on the streets by giving them money, food, and clothing and we need this to stop,” he said. “They need to understand that there are now programmes in place which will take care of their needs.”
In an online presentation last week, Sherry-lee Solomons, from the City’s social development and early childhood development department’s street people unit, said the collaborating organisations would work together to reduce the number of people living on the streets.
Pastor Valayadum said a live database would be created to identify who had attended, and attendees would be given a voucher that would entitle them to five cooked meals from My Father’s House at the Simon’s Town kitchen or the Fish Hoek serving point.
“The idea is to restore dignity through accountability and responsibility,” he said.
Workshops will be hosted by The Net, U-Turn, the City’s social services, Open Door and Living Hope, while other partners, such as the Simon’s Town Community Police Forum, will continue work on the orange-bib project, an initiative to train the homeless to be parking attendants, and help with funding for IDs.
Happy Valley Home Shelter and The Haven Night Shelter will assist with shelter placements, reunification, social intervention, and family reconciliation and reunification. Happy Valley Home Shelter will also help with placement at the City’s Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP). The Rea Thusane Foundation, which provides missionary work, will help with temporary shelter, physical care, and social welfare while the Muizenberg Community Action Network (CAN) will assist with feeding and referrals for EPWP placements.
During the workshops, the City’s re-integration officers will work with the homeless to help with rehabilitation, reunification, and reintegration. They will also be responsible to arrange consultations with social workers and referrals for those who are mentally challenged.
Marc Yates, chairman of the Fish Hoek Business Improvement District (BID) welcomed the initiative. “We are thrilled that a number of stakeholders are joining forces to combat the issues of homelessness in Fish Hoek,” he said.
Founder of The Net Carolyn Axmann said: “It’s wonderful to have collaboration between different organisations working within the arena of homelessness. I am so excited to be part of this.”
U-Turn’s chief operations officer Jon Hopkins said: “U-Turn is looking forward to bringing our 24-years of experience to Fish Hoek and working with like-minded partners through this initiative to collectively provide a broad range of services needed to help people experiencing homelessness to leave the streets long term.”
For more information and to view the workshop program, visit www.myfathershouse.org.za or its Facebook page or call My Father’s House at 082 381 0384.