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Homeless given a lifeline during pandemic

During the peak of the Covid19 pandemic, the Voortrekker Road Corridor Improvement District VRCID , along with its partner organisations and nongovernment organisations NG05 , had to shift its social development services towards providing relief to those in need. As the national lockdown restrictions started to ease the organisation’s emphasis moved back towards social development services, the VRCID said.

“There has been an influx of street people, especially in Bellville,” Wilma Piek, VRCID social development manager, said. “Despite increased bed space provided by the Paint City Safe Space, we still do not have nearly enough resources to address the needs of our homeless. The best that we can do is make sure that those who do get the opportunity to enter a shelter or a safe space have access to a quality developmental and rehabilitative programme, and that they are assisted properly.”

During the 50 days of lockdown at levels 4 and 5, the VRCID, the community organisation, Mould Empower Serve MES , and other partner organisations and NGOs served 81 900 meals to the homeless and vulnerable.

“They also worked hard to return individuals to their families or refer them to newly formed shelters,” Piek said. “In addition to this, they provided additional food and medical relief services for those in need.” From June to August the VRCID also contributed significantly to the welfare of homeless and vulnerable people in the area.

“A close collaboration with MES was crucial, and our team was committed to supporting their social relief measures initiated in response to the economic crisis caused by the pandemic,” says Derek Bock, VRCID chief operations officer.


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