The CCID’s Social Development team engages with the Central City’s most vulnerable on a daily basis, and concentrates much of its effort on assisting street people towards the services they need.
This is a vital component of any downtown that strives to be vibrant, resilient, tolerant and inclusive. The interaction on a daily basis that the CCID’s team provides can assist street people towards a path of reunification with their families, channel them towards appropriate rehabilitation or medical care, refer them for a job opportunity or a skills development programme, or even secure them a safe place for the night.
The team comprises a social worker (Herbert November) and two field workers (Mark Williams and Headman Sirala-rala), and a manager, Tara Gerardy-Bissolati, who has extensive knowledge in healthcare, substance abuse and psychosocial fields, particularly harm reduction. The team's work relies on building relationships of trust between the CCID and those in need. To this end, Social Development is acutely aware of the post-Covid needs of, and problems faced by, the homeless population of the Cape Town CBD. These include inadequate housing, limited resources, mental health issues, safety concerns, stigma and discrimination, limited employment opportunities, and the transient nature of homelessness.
Addressing these challenges requires a multi-faceted approach and collaboration, as well as effective reintegration programmes. CCID Social Development works closely with a number of NGOs throughout the metropole, including The Homestead (which offers accommodation, family reunification and reintegration services to boys living on the street), Ons Plek (which offers accommodation, family reunification and reintegration services to girls living on the street), Youth Solutions Africa (which provides shelter skills training programmes for men and women), The Hope Exchange (which provides ablution facilities, a second-phase shelter and vocational training), Khulisa Social Solutions (which engages in work-based rehabilitation for the chronically homeless), and Straatwerk (the rehabilitation NGO with whom the Urban Management department also works).
The CCID also has ties with U-turn Homeless Ministries, which works to uplift street people through shelter, training and rehabilitation.
As with many other successful downtowns across the globe, the Cape Town Central City is often perceived by the homeless as an economically enabling environment where they can support themselves, which in turn often leads to begging on the streets. In 2008, the CCID conceptualised and launched the GIVE RESPONSIBLY call to action as an open-source campaign to raise awareness among the general public that there is a very real need to find more sustainable solutions than just giving money directly to people on the streets, and to rather support the NGOs that assist the homeless.
In 2017, the GIVE RESPONSIBLY messaging was broadened into a SHOW YOU CARE message, which not only highlights the plight of people living on the streets as well as the work of NGOs, but which also provides the public with tangible ideas and awareness on how else they can assist.
Meet the members of the CCID’s Social Development team.
CAMPAIGNS AND DONATIONS
For more on the CCID’s initiatives towards public awareness around people living on the streets, see SHOW YOU CARE on our Campaigns page.