Spotlight on homeless

Johan Appels from the City Of Cape Towns social development department and Carol Mentor, chairperson of the Mitchells Plain Local Network of Care at their monthly stakeholders meeting.

With winter increasing its icy grip, particularly on the city’s homeless, the issue of a shelter in Mitchell’s Plain was one of the key points discussed at the Mitchell’s Plain Local Network of Care’s (LNOC) monthly stakeholders’ meeting.

The meeting at the YMCA Resources Centre in Pisa Close, Portland, on Thursday, June 22, was held to discuss the issues facing homeless people in the area.

According to Carol Mentor, the chairperson of the Mitchell’s Plain Local Network of Care, one of the biggest challenges they are currently facing is the issue of not having a shelter in Mitchell’s Plain to accommodate homeless people. Currently they have to send people to other areas for accommodation.

“We need a support system for our street people to keep them away from the streets,” said Ms Mentor.

“With our winter programme we try to get as many people as we can off the street. If we can’t help a hundred people we at least try to help one person. Some people on the street have been exposed to drugs so we try to accommodate them as their families can’t deal with a recovering addict,” said Ms Mentor.

The stakeholders said there is a lot of expertise in Mitchell’s Plain, however, the major issue they face is that of not having adequate facilities.

“To have a facility is a very critical issue for any organisation to sustain and to keep running programmes,” said Ms Mentor.

Johan Appels from the City of Cape Town’s social development department, who also attended the meeting, said there are services being provided in Mitchell’s Plain.

He said the organisation should not only focus on the negative but also on success stories there have been over the years.

Carol Mentor from the Mitchell’s Plain Local Network of Care can be contacted on 076 468 5451 for more information.