Haven expands bed space

Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis at the new space in the Haven night shelter.

The Haven night shelter in Green Point has been expanded from 96 to 156 beds, with R500 000 contributed by the City of Cape Town.

This is a permanent addition to the Haven’s shelter provision, which is combined with numerous social services to assist people in their path toward leaving the streets.

“I took over in February and part of my vision was to expand the Haven and I’m happy with what we have,” said Shaddie Valaydum, the CEO of the Haven.

“The 96 beds we have were always occupied and this is why we needed more space. Social services help them with getting ID’s, employment, reunification and rehabilitation are some of the services that we have going here. We look into the root causes too of the problems or challenges that people face,” he said.

Mr Valaydum said the City was instrumental in assisting them with the expansion and that they are looking forward to doing the same at shelters in other townships.

“During the winter, the City further enabled several NGOs to add 300 more temporary bed spaces to cope with additional shelter demand at facilities in various parts of the metropole,” said Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis.

“This included the deployment of 184 EPWP (Expanded Public Works Programme) workers to assist NPOs with general and administrative tasks. The City further disbursed R8.4m in grants-in-aid funding to NPOs offering transitional shelter and developmental programmes in 22/23,” he said.

The mayor added that a proposed 300-bed Safe Space in Green Point is also in the planning appeals phase (GPRRA backs Ebenezer Road Safe Space, May 18, 2023).

“Besides our support for NPOs, the City will spend R230 million over three years to expand and operate our own Safe Space transitional shelters. These facilities currently offer around 700 beds in the CBD and Bellville, along with a range of social interventions to reintegrate people into society,” he said.

“In the 12 months ending June 2023, the City helped almost 3 500 individuals with shelter placement or referrals to an array of social services. This includes 2 246 shelter placements, 112 family reunifications and reintegrations, and 1 124 individuals referred to various social services, including drug and alcohol rehabilitation and health services. Over 880 people were also given short-term contractual job opportunities through the Expanded Public Works Programme.

“Cape Town is the only metro dedicating a social development budget to helping people off the streets, and we are committed to doing even more this year with a 23% increase to our programme budget, amounting to R94,75m for 23/24,”said Patricia van der Ross, mayoral committee member for community services and health.