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Central City NGOs need funds to cope with increasing challenges

Central City NGOs need funds to cope with increasing challenges

South Africa, 23 August 2021: NGOs that work with the homeless population in the Cape Town CBD are stretched “incredibly thin” at the moment as the number of street people who have Covid-19 has increased with the third Covid-19 wave, says Pat Eddy, manager of Social Development at the Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID)

The CCID today launched its annual Show You Care initiative – Hope for the Homeless – to raise R100 000 for the Social Development department’s six partner NGOs that support the CBD’s most vulnerable.

Says Eddy: “There’s less money and more demand, with increasing unemployment creating an upsurge in destitute, hungry people seeking basic services, psychosocial support and rehabilitation services. There are also a lot more positive Covid-19 cases in homeless people with this wave. That’s put huge pressure on NGOs, with expenses going up exponentially as they attempt to implement all the necessary Covid-19 protocols.”

The Hope for the Homeless fundraising campaign, how in its 13th year, asks the public to support these NGOs through financial donations. Every amount – big or small – has the potential to change people’s lives. The six NGOs are:  Straatwerk, The Hope Exchange, Ons Plek, The Homestead, Youth Solutions Africa and Khulisa Social Solutions’ Streetscapes programme. Each one plays a pivotal role in providing upliftment to some of the city centre’s most vulnerable groups, including young people, women and chronic homeless individuals.

Says CCID CEO Tasso Evangelinos: “At the CCID we assist our six primary NGO partners with a range of interventions, especially during the cold winter months. But the pandemic has placed a huge strain on their resources, and there is a real need for public and private stakeholders to work together to find practical solutions to the problems. Donating to our Show You Care Hope for the Homeless campaign is an important start, and we urge members of the public, businesses and big corporates to help us to help our homeless community at this time.”

Eddy says the NGOs, which are struggling, appreciate every donation and put the money to good use. “Last year raised over R85 000, which was divided equally amongst the organisations, and they were hugely grateful for the money. Streetscapes is using the funds to create additional stipends for people living on the street; The Homestead is launching new projects to support street children and YSA has upgraded one of their dormitories,” Eddy says.

Turning lives around

The NGOs all provide invaluable support to street people in downtown Cape Town, with the aim of helping them to move off the street and live a better life. The CCID supports many of their projects, which are often work-based rehabilitation programmes.

One of the most exciting projects that has been launched recently is an Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP), which started in July and will be run by Khulisa StreetScapes in partnership with the City of Cape Town. The ground-breaking 12-month work rehabilitation project aims to uplift chronic homeless people in the Central City. The CCID has been involved in screening the 15 participants, who are extremely vulnerable individuals who have been on the streets for five years or more. One participant has been on the streets for 15 years.

Applauding the City’s initiative, Evangelinos says a collective strategy supported by all stakeholders is needed to help alleviate the plight of the destitute.

Says Eddy: “It is a challenging but very significant programme, and we are very appreciative that the City has provided the funds to sustain it for a year.

The CCID’s social and field workers are actively involved will provide support to the participants. The team is on the streets daily: in the last six months they have interacted with 436 people living on the streets and placed 75 people in shelters in the CBD.

Supporting our most vulnerable

Like StreetScapes, the other five beneficiaries of the CCID’s Show You Care Hope for the Homeless campaign do amazing work to support vulnerable individuals, including those with substance abuse issues. Cape Town, like most major cities around the world, has seen as increase in opiate-dependent people. Eddy says, “People need to understand opiate-dependency is like an illness; it’s not something people choose.

“With the increasing substance use on our streets, we need to consider additional programmes that will result in helping the person change their behaviour and minimise the impact of substance abuse on our society and CBD.”

The six NGOs play a pivotal role. But they need support.

  • Youth Solutions Africa: Offers multiple projects from a night shelter for the homeless and skills training for young people, to feeding schemes and early childhood development programmes.
     
  • The Homestead: Provides outreach programmes for street children, including a drop-in centre, shelter, transitional residential care, and early intervention to keep at-risk young people off the streets.
     
  • Khulisa Streetscapes: An integrated work-based rehabilitation and reintegration model for homeless people, with supported employment opportunities, housing and psychosocial support. EPWP is part of this.
     
  • Ons Plek: Supporting girl street children, Ons Plek is Cape Town’s only residential child and youth care centre specialising in developmental and therapeutic intake services for girls who have lived, worked or begged on the city’s streets.
     
  • Straatwerk: A Christian NGO assisting the destitute with rehabilitation and work-based projects to empower them to earn an honest living and supporting women out of prostitution.
  • The Hope Exchange: This NGO provides homeless adults and those at risk of being homeless with daily ablutions, toilet and laundry facilities; nutritional meals; social work services; monthly healthcare wellness and screening clinics; life skills training; and interim accommodation. It’s also the site where the government has started vaccinating homeless individuals.

HOW DONATE TO THE CCID’S SHOW YOU CARE CAMPAIGN:

- SMS R10 to 38088
- Snapscan https://pos.snapscan.io/qr/STB0F588
- PayPal https://paypal.me/CCIDShowYouCare
- EFT to First National Bank, Adderley Street, Cape Town. Branch Code 201-409. Account Number 62524024065. Account Name: CCID Give Responsibly. Account Type: Current Account  

Issued by Atmosphere Communications on behalf of Sharon Sorour-Morris, Communications manager of the CCID

Email: Sharon@capetownccid.org Cell: 082 216 0835