Policy to assist the homeless on the table

“There is no national policy and guideline that informs or guides the municipality and government on how to manage and deal with vagrants or homeless people.”

This was the comment from Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality in response to questions regarding the metro’s plans to assist the homeless in Edenvale.

Themba Gadebe, spokesperson and senior media manager of the EMM, said the city’s health and social development departments acknowledge that there are challenges when dealing with the homeless.

Also read: No policy to assist homeless

He said there are challenges regarding law enforcement and the homeless.

Gadebe said in many instances first respondents enforce the law on the site to ensure that they stabilise the environment.

He explained that once that has been done the social workers would be in a position to intervene and perform reintegration services.

Gadebe added that the EMM is in the process of planning and identifying buildings that will be used as temporary shelter for the homeless.

To deal with the issue of vagrants and homeless in the EMM, Gadebe said a process has been initiated to develop vagrant policy involving transit homes for the homeless.

This has not yet been approved by council.

“Once approved, the policy will guide the municipality in dealing and managing homeless people and vagrants,” said Gadebe.

“With regards to integration services the EMM is engaging with all critical stakeholders to ensure that services are provided and identified challenges are dealt with,” he said.

Gadebe said psycho-social services will be provided to those in need.

“The provision of effective intervention and programmes require that all departments, the municipality and law enforcements agencies work together towards resolving the problems,” concludes Gadebe.

Edenvale SAPS feeds the homeless

Stephan Lehman

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No policy to assist homeless