New project aims to help get homeless off streets

By Time of article published Jun 27, 2011

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Regina Graham

THE City of Cape Town is launching a pilot programme to rehabilitate and re-integrate homeless people in Woodstock, Mowbray, Observatory and Salt River.

”Homeless people who have had an intervention by the city, have, in large part, found themselves back on the streets and that must change,” DA Ward 57 councillor Brett Herron said.

The programme, which is due to begin on August 1, aims to rehabilitate and re-integrate 100 homeless people by assessing their needs and addressing those issues within a six-step programme.

“Our hopes are to successfully integrate at least 30 percent of the 100 people in the programme, so we can learn and identify what works best in order for us to roll it out for the rest of the city,” Herron said.

The participants would receive mental and physical health assessments; skills development; life skills; substance abuse and job readiness information sessions for three months, Herron said.

“It’s not just about removing or getting rid of them, but getting the homeless the help and safety they need.”

Shortly before the World Cup last year, the City of Cape Town unveiled an extensive plan to get homeless people off the street by categorising them into specific groups.

This programme would be similar to that one but improved, Jantjie Booysen, Street People’s Programme project co-ordinator for the City of Cape Town, said.

Ward 57 was identified as a hot spot in the city and it has become a priority area for the city to alleviate the number of homeless people.

The ward had received R3 million from the city to fund the programme, Booysen said.

”We will start with this pilot in Ward 57 and then Cape Town will follow as the next pilot, hopefully in October.”

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