The City of Cape Town’s Social Development and Early Childhood Development Department has opened the doors to its Safe Space facility for street people.
The pilot project site, situated underneath the Culemborg Bridge on the Foreshore, is a transitional shelter facility where up to 230 street people will be able to spend the night once it is fully operational. They will also be able to access ablution facilities, water and storage space for their belongings.
The facility will also offer access to a range of social and medical services, with assessments and referrals done on site.
‘The safe space concept has been something that has been talked about in the administration for many years, but the planning started in earnest in the last financial year. We hope to achieve a number of things through this initiative. On the one hand, we want to take pressure off existing shelters and reduce the number of by-law infringements that come with people sleeping or erecting structures in the open, but we also want to develop relationships with our clients over a period of time that will hopefully lead to reintegration for some,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security; and Social Services, Alderman JP Smith.
Persons seeking to use the facility will be assigned a storage locker, a sleeping pallet, sleeping bag and blanket as well as a wellness pack containing hygiene essentials. The City is partnering with external service providers to bring their specialist services, soup kitchens and other catering services to the site to provide meals.
City Health will also conduct regular visits and do referrals for medical services. The site will have a dedicated Law Enforcement team to provide security.
Thus far, 11 street people have been accommodated including two persons with disabilities.