Carlo Petersen2 July 2024 | 15:07

NGO U-Turn backs daytime service centres for homeless people who fear moving into shelters

In its bid to get over 14,000 people off the streets of Cape Town, the city on Monday announced it would fund a sixth safe space shelter to operate in Muizenberg.

NGO U-Turn backs daytime service centres for homeless people who fear moving into shelters

About 200 homeless people have until 30 July to vacate seven pavements around the City of Cape Town following an eviction order by the Western Cape High Court. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/ Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN - U-Turn, an NGO focusing on helping homeless people, said that daytime service centres could provide a solution for homeless people who feared moving into shelters.

In its bid to get over 14,000 people off the streets of Cape Town, the city on Monday announced it would fund a sixth safe space shelter to operate in Muizenberg.

While the city's move to increase shelter bed space has been welcomed by U-Turn, which said that the city should remain open to trying other possible solutions.

When EWN spoke to homeless people living on the streets of Cape Town's CBD recently, many of them said they refused to move into the safe space shelters.

U-Turn CEO Jean-Ray Fitt said that there was a reason for this.

"Many people will say they don't want to go to a shelter. That's because they're used to living as free agents and shelters have to function with a set of rules and boundaries, but for many people on the street, that is too much when they're caught in the chaos of their homelessness and their addiction."  

Fitt said that U-Turn offered a possible solution for those who feared moving into a shelter.

"U-Turn works with a motivation for change basis. We use daytime service centres that homeless people can come to and in those centers we create a space where they can feel safe, they can get their basic needs met, and they can experience healthy boundaries that aren't overwhelming."

Fitt said that the daytime platform often motivated these homeless people to get off the street and move into shelters.