Soup Kitchens provide only very fragile help for 10,000 homeless on cape town streets
Although it may well not be constitutional (click here ) , soup kitchens in cape town face opposition in some parts from law enforcement and less so in other areas . in some areas SAP even protects those giving the kitchens . FIsh Hoek Churches and other interested bodies met CoC recently with counciller Simon LIell Cock and at least dialogued about feeding schemes not a reason people were staying the streets and as not " encouraging people to stay on the street" . Soup kitchens run about once a day now in fish hoek. Not enough, but one meal a day by private and churches is some way to alleviating at least a little bit of peoples need to beg. In seapoint signs against advising people not to feed are promoted by some residents much to the shame of others in the area . The city helpline for "vagrants" is publicised on these signs.
Whilst Policy seem(ed) to be perhaps changing in that Safer Spaces is now trying to engaging soup kitchens in efforts to help, but apprently not meeting with much response as NGOS have their onw diffiucluties mainting their own feeding programs as it is "donation wise". it seems sadly the CoC initiative to build Culemborg as a pilot for hopefully 8 other planned safe spaces has fallen though due to not enough NGO participation . The truth is the public would have to behind this on larger scale and are they really? How much exposure or importance is the homeless issue of 10,000 on the street in to capetonians however? (numbers quoted by Counciller Simon Liell Cock sep 2018) It would seem not nearly enough.
Ladles of Love, probably the most successful and far reaching soup kitchen was accosted at some point by Law enforcement with warnings. but since there is no law Ladles of love made it clear they would continue and is going at least stregth to strength but some of their kitchens.
They do have the huge boost of using the Carpenters place daily. A protected environment few soup kitchens have the luxury to afford. Another NGO Breaking Bread has a house in salt river from which they serve a daily meal, but these are not the norm. Its not easy to sewtup soup kitchens dpending on the asrea due to opposition of the public or law enforcement . One does not know the numbers of "complaints " where it becomes an issue and perhaps if thse complaints are relatively few, the city would be wise to publiscise those making them and give others a chance to show the compassion of encouragement and support for the most basic need a human has besides shelter.
Sadly communication between CoC and NGOS, (NGOS it was hoped would help at CoC SAfe spaces) has not been sufficiently positive to enable regular meals at the Culmborg Safe space . One hopes this will improve but the underlying reasons will have to be addressed. NGOS historically have been more strongly connected to people in shelters and perhaps do not feel that CoC is really hearing the issues of street people for want of a better word.
the COC initiatives which are relatively young but at least some change seems hopeful. At the same time very recent notices to appear court seem to be now on the rise for homeless using public spaces or for "littering" or "sleeping in public place". according to homeless people . One she maintained this was merely for having a sleeping bag on the pavement . And the other for similar.
Meantime there just in isnt enough distribution of food to sustain people who cotinue to rely on the goodwill of individuals by having to beg.
It seems a sad irony that a nobel Laureate of this country had this to say :
"I don’t preach a social gospel; I preach the Gospel, period. The gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is concerned for the whole person. When people were hungry, Jesus didn’t say, ‘Now is that political or social?’ He said, ‘I feed you.’ Because the good news to a hungry person is bread."
~ Desmond Tutu|
But are enough listening ? It seems important that Government or city take a stand more directly if they want help from NGOs to feed at Culmborg. And if they really want the overall safe spaces project to revived as momentum seems now very weak and perhaps lost altogther for that [project. And meantime 10,000 remain hungry on the streets .
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