As the dust of the festive season is starting to settle, the spike in vagrants in certain areas is concerning. This is according to irate residents in Sanddrift, Brooklyn and Sunningdale who are claiming that homeless people in these areas are increasing at an alarming rate. Connie Osbourne, a resident, says she has been complaining to the City of Cape Town and logging C3s complaints , without avail. “The homeless in the Sunningdale area are so rude and harass residents daily. Most of them are next to the private Blaauwberg Hospital. The festive season was even worse and they camp out in residential areas. We have warned others in the area not to hand out food as this is what keeps them around. They are so disrespectful,” she says. Other residents say the problem has worsened and homeless people are becoming vulgar and aggressive. “They put up camp everywhere you see. I never had a problem with the homeless, but after throwing a stone at my car for not giving them food, my feelings changed. Something needs to be done,” says another resident, Alam Kloppers. Helping the homeless According to NPO Mould Empower Serve Mes CEO, Leona Pienaar thousands of homeless and vulnerable people in the city are faced with a great safety dilemma where to selfisolate in order to avoid the spread of the virus. “So far we have been able to distribute over 100 food parcels to vulnerable families in our care, we waived fees for creche parents for April for over 300 families, keep our shelters open, clean and safe, and offered two healthy meals per day to those residing in our shelters during this period and we are extremely grateful for the support,” she says. I
“Our Cape Town branch feeds approximately 800 homeless people daily in collaboration with VRCID and local churches since there are not yet enough alternative accommodation options available,” she says The TLC Outreach projects that are assisting the homeless daily say they currently have an Independent Living Plan Programme MP running. The ILP programme focuses on youth at risk, exoffenders and the homeless, for the purpose of reintegration into society and normal living. The individuals undertake to become a TLC student and commit themselves to an intense programme. The ILP programme runs throughout the year and is driven by a passionate and dedicated team. They have also reached out to a hundred homeless people in December offering food relief hampers. However, residents say they notice the spike in homeless people around the festive season. With the State of Disaster and the pending court cases against the City, law enforcement was not able to evict homeless people, local councillors say, even after offers of shelters were made but were refused. When TygerBurger visited some of the camping sites in Milnerton last week, the homeless said they have every right to be there. However, some refused to have their photos taken and to comment.
Residents say the homeless are creating a dumping ground in residential areas.