Ricochet News

Sleeping bags and more for George Municipality's homeless

Jul 20, 2018
Sleeping bags and more for George Municipality's homeless

Market Square, in George,  was a hive of activity on Wednesday afternoon during the Mandela Day celebrations that took place all over George.

The George Municipal Department for Community Development and Social Services teamed up with the Eden Lions and the Western Cape Health Department to offer a host of services to a number of homeless persons.

“I believe that our department has embarked on a change in strategy. We are constantly looking for ways to make a sustainable difference to the lives of those we reach. I am therefore very happy that instead of merely offering one meal to those living on the street, we offered them warm clothing and a waterproof sleeping bag but more importantly we offered them a medical test and the opportunity to receive medical care.

"One gentleman came forward and asked for assistance regarding his alcoholism and we immediately responded by making an appointment at an institution. EPWP were also on hand to establish the skill levels and the possibility of helping with job opportunities. All in all I believe the event was very successful and needs to continue, not only annually but as a continuous effort to make these lives better,” said Portfolio Councillor for Community Development and Social Services, Sean Snyman.

Cllr Snyman briefly chatted to the attentive group, sharing  his life experiences and motiving them to understand their worth after which the group of roughly 80 persons were given a cup of hot soup, made by Councillor Marlene Barnardt and sandwiches that had been prepared as part of Group Editor’s annual Sandwich Jam.  The municipal HIV and Youth Co-ordinators chatted to members of the  group individually updating the municipal register for homeless persons and providing HIV counselling.

The Western Cape Department of Health Mobile vehicle allowed those individuals who wanted to do so to be tested for HIV, TB Screening as well as blood pressure and any other ailments.

Eden Lions as well as a group from Pacaltdorp called Caring and Sharing  recently embarked on a project of making “sleeping bags” out of cardboard boxes and plastic which were handed out.

These sleeping bags fold up easily and are waterproof, allowing for some respite from weather.

Cllr Snyman and Tilly Nel, of Eden Lions recruited a member of the group to demonstrate how effective the sleeping bag is, to the amusement of the onlookers.

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