There is no question that Ingrid Frieslaar, the GSCID’s  Social Outreach Manager does an outstanding job amongst her clients, the homeless on our streets who hold her in high esteem.  She knows all the hard core regulars very well who remain ongoing problems.  There are approximately fifteen who refuse to go into shelters and insist on sleeping on our streets.

Her work is to keep regular contact with these people and others that end up on the streets from time to time.  She also works with the Straatwerk cleaning staff who may be considered to be her successes in providing work for the homeless as they have made a decision to uplift themselves and to join this project.  Nine homeless people are employed full time by Straatwerk and she interacts with approximately thirty others who intermittently report for work.

A homeless young man, Justin, aged 27, who came to Cape Town from Port Elizabeth in search of his sister who lives here, was found wandering aimlessly on our streets in July last year in the Rondebosch area by GSCID security staff. He was referred to Ingrid Frieslaar for assessment.  Frieslaar reports that he appeared very confused and that she could not make much sense of what he was saying to her as he was in all probability mentally challenged.

Justin at the bus terminus

Justin at the bus terminus

 

Contact was made with his family in Port Elizabeth and an uncle agreed to take Justin in. Our Chrysalis graduates, Lifa and Ridaa, escorted him to the GSCID’s Social Facility where he showered and received second hand clothing. He was then accompanied to the bus terminus for his journey home at a cost of R350.00 for his bus fare and R50.00 for food en route.

In a follow up phone call to the family, the uncle advised that Justin is now living with him and that he is being assessed at a mental institution. “I am just glad that we were able to assist in getting Justin reunited with his family,” says Frieslaar, “and for us it means one less homeless person in our precinct.”

 

HOMELESS PEOPLE INTERACTIONS JULY 2014 – JUNE 2015
Type Number
Interactions in groups 171
Interactions one on one 769
Straatwerk visits 41

 

Also a very important ongoing service is our deliveries of food and toiletries to the homeless.  Ingrid Frieslaar, collects food donations from Pick ‘n Pay every Monday, Thursday and Friday morning.  Items included are mielie meal, canned food and toiletries among other non-perishable food items. We also purchase blankets, toiletries, noodles, packet soups, coffee and tea from our social budget.  This food is used for emergency meals for homeless people in the area, as well as for the Straatwerk cleaners.  Ingrid also uses the food for home visitations and when the homeless are in hospital for any reason.

Ingrid Frieslaar, the Social Outreach Manager for the GSCID, will collect the food donation every week and oversee the distribution to those in need

Ingrid Frieslaar, the Social Outreach Manager for the GSCID

We also pack lunches and provide second hand clothes for clients travelling back home by bus to the Eastern Cape and elsewhere.  We purchase all our second hand clothes for the homeless from the UCT Shawco shop “Rags to Riches”.

This winter Pick ‘n Pay Observatory collected blankets, clothing and food from their customers and donated it all to the GSCID.  These items are being distributed among the homeless as well as other charities serving the homeless in our area.

Tags: , , , ,

Leave your comment