Street people head count planned

In an effort to measure the effectiveness of interventions for street people, the City of Cape Town will be carrying out a headcount from October.

This was mentioned during a ward 115 committee meeting, during a presentation by head of the City’s Reintegration Unit, Lorraine Frost.

The last survey was carried out in 2015.

This survey, also by the City of Cape Town, found there were 7383 homeless people living in shelters and on the streets of the City (“City counts homeless”, People’s Post, 11 August 2015).

The survey was carried out across the metro, including the City Centre, the Foreshore, Sea Point, Vredehoek, Oranjezicht, Wynberg, Strandfontein, Portlands, Tafelsig, Mitchell’s Plain, Lenteguer, Claremont, Woodstock, Lansdowne, Muizenberg and Retreat.

The study not only looked to determine the number of street people in Cape Town, but to also gain an understanding of the “phenomenon of homelessness”. The study took strides to differentiate between those sleeping on the street and jobseekers.

JP Smith, Mayco member for safety, security and social services, says this year’s study will “determine whether there has been a change in the number of street people living on the streets and in shelters”.

“The information we gather will enable us to determine whether our current interventions are making a difference,” he adds.

The headcount will take place across the entire metropole, including 37 hotspot areas for street people, Smith says.

“A team of fieldworkers will be trained to do the headcount, working closely with the Reintegration Unit. The methodology for the enumeration will be finalised in the next few weeks,” explains Smith.

The findings of the survey will inform the City’s street people programmes and social outreach, adds Smith.