The City of Cape Town says it has budgeted R140 million to expand and operate its Safe Spaces over the next three years as it marks World Homelessness Day.
This includes identifying potential sites for new transitional Safe Spaces, as well as efforts to increase capacity at a number of existing shelters.
The city’s Safe Space model offers a transitional shelter pathway off the streets, along with a range of social services.
The city says the services include access to an on-site social worker and personal development planning.
They currently operate the spaces in the Cape Town CBD and Bellville.
Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis says they are identifying potential sites for new Safe Spaces. He says feasibility studies are underway into prospective sites to determine their suitability.
In a statement, Hill-Lewis added that the city experienced an increase in persons living on the streets since the COVID-19 pandemic.
He explains that causes varied requiring solutions linked associated with the resource of time, people, land, and funding. He adds that even though social welfare falls outside the scope of their mandate, they are stepping forward in providing tangible assistance to help remove people off the streets.
Between July 2021 and June 2022, the direct efforts of the city officials have resulted in removing over 1 800 people off the streets and placing them in shelters, and reunifying others with their families.
Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Patricia Van der Ross says, “The complexity of homelessness is something that many cities around the world grapple with. One thing is certain, it cannot be up to the government alone to solve, and requires a whole societal approach. There are many in our city who provide support to help people off the streets sustainably. We welcome this support.”