Not all people on the street are homeless: informal car guards, day strollers, street kids, criminals and drug dealers move among the long term homeless and unless you have spent time working with them you won’t necessarily know who is who and what the most productive and appropriate ways are to help.
Should I give money, clothes, food?
Handouts perpetuate dependency and keep the homeless on the street. Where children are concerned, begging keeps them out of school, encourages substance abuse, and makes them vulnerable to exploitation. Giving from your house attracts more homeless to the area which exacerbates the problem. In addition, criminals and drug dealers move in and mingle with the homeless, sometimes pretending to need help – while actually committing crimes or planning crimes under this “cover story”.
How can I help in a positive way then?
- Make MID Social Development your first stop. MID has a Social Development Manager and a dedicated Social Worker who both know and work with the homeless in Muizenberg to improve their circumstances and where possible to re-integrate them with families.
- If you see a homeless person in distress, you can contact the City’s dedicated Call Centre for Homelessness on 0800 872 201 for assistance.
- If you would like to be involved in supporting street children, the Western Cape Street Children’s Forum is the best place to start – they have links with many excellent organizations that work with street kids.
What if I’m being harassed?
Public safety is a concern of the Muizenberg Improvement District, and you can call the MID Public Safety Patrol Vehicle on 060 850 6260 to assist any time you feel threatened or harassed.
All incidents where a crime took place should be reported to Muizenberg SAPS immediately. Take note of as many specific details as you can, e.g. age, height, weight, distinguishing features, clothing and shoes, and so on. SAPS can be contacted on 021 787 9000.