Social Development MEC officially launches park homes for displaced

Department of Social Development 2021/11/01 - 22:00



​As part of observing World Homelessness Day and a continuous commemoration of Social Development Month, the Gauteng Department of Social Development led by MEC Morakane Mosupyoe flanked by Joburg’s MMC for Health and Social Development Eunice Mgcina officially launched the park homes for displaced people who previously lived in the streets at the Wembley Stadium near Turffontein Racecourse in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

The Wembley homeless shelter is a partnership between the City of Joburg’s Department of Social Development and thevGauteng Department of Social Development. The shelter is avnon-permanent accommodation that currently caters for 60 men between the ages of 19 and 59 years old. Beneficiaries stay at the shelter for a maximum of six months.

Speaking to the audience MEC Mosupyoe acknowledged and thanked the good work that the department has done partnering with the City of Johannesburg in delivering the proper services that are fit for purpose and to ensure that homeless people are provided with temporary shelters especially during the time of covid-19 pandemic.

Mosupyoe called on members of the community and various stakeholders to play a pivotal role in the work that government continues to do to assist the homeless people especially those in need of identity documents, skills development, and various other interventions to help them get back on their feet. She said government cannot win the fight against homelessness alone.

“As social development we resolved that this year our objectives would be focusing on promoting the collaboration of different stakeholders in delivering effective and efficient services to families, to create awareness on the pride of the homeless and the contribution the members of the public can make towards
addressing homelessness and educate homeless people about different services offered by various stakeholders”.

MEC further highlighted the importance of reintegration of the beneficiaries back into their families, emphasizing it is the right thing to do for those who still have their families.

“As we launch these park homes for our destitute people, at the back of our mind, we should remind ourselves that this is not a permanent home therefore, I urge everyone including the beneficiaries to work tirelessly with our social workers to find solutions to the problems that land them in the street and where possible we encourage people to be reintegrated back into their families”, said MEC.

“While there is emphasis on people exiting homeless shelter that we are running as the department, we also want to emphasize that for as long as there is persistent socio-economic challenges, homelessness will continue to be a challenge”. Furthermore, MEC reiterated the importance of a well-functioning integrated system that can respond to the needs of the destitute.

City of Joburg’s Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) Eunice Mgcina said she is pleased with the work that has been done to help and protect the homeless in Joburg. She said the city has been grappling the issue of homeless people for years but acknowledged that working with province strides are made. Mgcina said the statistic shows that 15000 or more are homeless in the city.

One resident at the shelter Olly Akom (42) who said he used to be on drugs, encouraged fellow beneficiaries to utilize the opportunity that the department has granted them to stay in the shelter to focus on their rehabilitation, rejuvenation and later on their reintegration. He said they must all strive to rebuild their lives so that they can stand on their own.

“I was a broken man when I walked into the gates of this shelter in 2020, I hopeless and on drugs, but now I can see a huge change to my life”, said Akom.

This shelter is run by the non-profit organisation Kusasa Lethu, funded by the Gauteng Department of Social Development.


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