Should You Give Money to Beggars? Or Not?

Should You Give Money to Beggars? Or Not?

Should you give money to beggars? or Not?

This is has been a point of debate among friends, family and even Neighbourhood Watch members. What are your thoughts? Feel free to message us on capetown@neighbourly.global or share your thoughts on your Neighbours group on Facebook or WhatsApp. You can also leave a comment below this article.

See what the City of Cape Town has to say below. One of the standout point’s was the following: ‘Direct handouts prevent individuals from seeking the help that can provide a more sustainable future and so we appeal to the public to refrain from giving street corner handouts of cash or goods and to seek out their local shelter or organisation that works with street people and find ways to assist them.’

STATEMENT BY MAYORAL COMMITTEE MEMBER FOR COMMUNITY SERVICES AND HEALTH, COUNCILLOR ZAHID BADROODIEN

As we head into the season of giving, the City of Cape Town appeals to residents who want to spread some cheer to those less fortunate to please do so responsibly.

The City’s Give Responsibly campaign is a key element of our Street People Programme. It advocates for residents and businesses to donate to shelters or organisations working with street people instead of giving direct handouts which tend to keep people on the street.

Ultimately, we want to reintegrate as many street people as possible while also mitigating the risk of others migrating to the streets.

In this regard, the City is driving a number of interventions, including via our Reintegration Unit that engages with street people on a daily basis to ascertain their needs and offer appropriate social and other humanitarian assistance. These offers are completely voluntary and experience has shown that many individuals avoid assistance as they may be receiving handouts from the community.

For those who do accept assistance, there is the prospect of being placed in shelters or at the Culemborg Safe Space; finding temporary or even permanent employment; gaining access to medical care and social grants where needed; and even an opportunity to return to their communities of origin or be reunited with their families.

In mid-July, the City launched the Culemborg Safe Space in the Central Business District. The site can accommodate 230 people and provides overnight accommodation, as well as access to a range of social and medical services and personal development opportunities. It is a transitional space, with the ultimate aim of reintegrating street people who use the facility back into society.

A number of clients have already made use of the opportunities provided through the Safe Space, and have secured temporary and permanent employment with public and private sector partners. This in turn has enabled them to move into their own accommodation and build on these opportunities.

CULEMBORG SAFE SPACE STATISTICS:

  • Persons on site - 211

  • Persons reunified with family - 15

  • Persons relocated to place of origin - 11

  • Persons assisted in securing IDs - 38

  • Persons with permanent employment - 4

  • Persons now in own accommodation - 7

  • Persons with part-time employment - 50

  • Persons with EPWP opportunities - 87

  • Persons attending training programmes - 70

  • Number of organisations supporting the site - 22

Direct handouts prevent individuals from seeking the help that can provide a more sustainable future and so we appeal to the public to refrain from giving street corner handouts of cash or goods and to seek out their local shelter or organisation that works with street people and find ways to assist them. https://www.westerncape.gov.za/directories/facilities/847

The Culemborg Safe Space is always happy to accept assistance from the public or organisations who would like to provide pop-up kitchens, clothing stores or other services that will  benefit our clients. The site can be contacted on 021 801 0140 or  streetpeoplesafespace@gmail.com.

It is important that everyone tries to help where they can, irrespective of the cause, but how this help is administered determines whether their assistance will make a real impact.

The above Statement was supplied by the Media Office, City of Cape Town on 21/12/2018.

How you can help the Homeless in a meaningful way

We’ve put a list together and we look forward to hearing your stories soon. All citizens deserve love and dignity.

Let us being caring as neighbours and be responsible in our giving too.

Team Neighbourly

Image Credit: Jonathan Kho