16 April 2020 Media Release: Garden Route district homeless are cared for during the COVID-19 pandemic

Media Release: Garden Route district homeless are cared for during the COVID-19 pandemic

For Immediate Release

16 April 2020

Since the first case of Coronavirus (COVID-19) was confirmed in the Garden Route district, homeless people were amongst many who were identified as the extremely vulnerable to the impact of the virus.

For this reason, the Department of Social Development (DSD), Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) and local municipalities in the district, worked and planned together at the GRDM command centre to make arrangements to accommodate these vulnerable at temporary shelters for the homeless.

At a social cluster meeting held on 15 April, it was reported that approximately 250 homeless persons are housed at these shelters. However, according to Ms Una Petersen from DSD the number of homeless people fluctuate on a daily basis.

Mr Jason Rondganger from George Municipality, prepares meals for the residents at the Rosemoor Stadium. Photos: George Municipality

Some of the shelters that are currently utilised include: Itemba Shelter in Oudtshoorn, the Rosemoor Stadium inclusive of the clubhouse in George, Loerie Park stadium in Knysna, Native Roots in Bitou, Shack Shack, Bay Vista and the Haven in Mossel Bay.  Furthermore, in Hessequa tents are put up at premises of families to accommodate their homeless family members.

Apart from having a roof over their heads and beds to sleep on, these individuals are also provided with hot meals on a daily basis.

In order to fit the criteria and to be considered as temporary resident at these shelters, each person is screened at a local clinic where after the South African Police Service transports them to a shelter nearby.

For more information and to apply for temporary a shelter, please contact Ms Una Petersen at the DSD Regional Office at telephone number 044 814 1687 or per e-mail at Adriana.Petersen@westerncape.gov.za or Mia.Davids@westerncape.gov.za.