A great day was had by all on the Village Green!
On 26 October, 2013 Lower Main Road in Observatory/Salt River will become a car-free corridor for residents to explore, use and play on their street.
Following the hugely successful Open Streets on 25 May this year, when several thousand Capetonians flocked to a car-free Lower Main Road, we are now a month away from the next one, planned for 26 October 2013
Open Streets Cape Town is supporting the Observatory Improvement District in hosting citizen-led activities on the street. The previous event saw both planned and spontaneous activities, including street soccer, Zumba classes, chalk art, skateboarding, cycling, giant chess games, dancing and more.
Businesses surveyed after the 25 May 2013 event were overwhelmingly in favour of turning this into a regular programme, and are fully behind OBSID, who are now holding weekly planning meetings that are open to the public, every Thursday at 6:00pm at the Observatory Community Centre.
Eighty-five percent of businesses surveyed were open during the May event, and more than 50% of these reported an increase over normal Saturday sales revenues. Reflecting the potential for job creation, 48% of businesses said they would have extra staff on duty during future Open Streets days.
Marcela Guerrero Casas, co-founder of Open Streets Cape Town, says of the 25 May event: “Everyone was taken by surprise. We had no idea it would be so successful, and people haven’t stopped asking when the next one will be, or when there will be one in their area. We don’t want to disappoint people, but we also didn’t want to rush it. There needs to be a strong local organisation to take the lead.”
Open Streets Cape Town is once again partnering with 100 in1day, the local branch of a growing international movement that encourages residents to organise creative activities all over the city to encourage social interaction. Both groups see open streets and other public space as platforms for transformation and the creation of a more inclusive city.
Both OBSID and Open Streets Cape Town are raising the funds needed to close the street, and anyone willing to contribute financially or in any other way is encouraged to contact either organisation, or to come to one of the Thursday meetings.
Local property investors are interested in helping the The City upgrade the Shelley Street Park.
The City wants to hear from You – what would you like to see in the park?
- a beautiful garden for Matric dance photos and wedding pictures?
- a bio-diversity corridor and wetland?
- play equipment for toddlers?
- more benches and seating walls?
- climbing wall for teenagers?
- an outdoor theater in summer time?
- shaded walkways and additional trees?
- a seasonal craft market and street bazaar?
- better surveillance?
We need you ideas.
Please join us for a public meeting on 6 Dec 2012 at 18:30 in Blackpool Sports Club in Shelley Street. Have your say!
From 16:00 – 18:00 the hall will be open for viewing of the proposed plans. Meeting will only start at 18:30.
The easy option when approached by a person living on the street is to just hand
over some cash. But if you do this, you are likely to be adding to the problem,
not helping the person.*
STOP AND THINK BEFORE YOU GIVE
- Many street people are alcoholics or drug addicts. Cash handouts are likely to be spent on drugs and alcohol.
- By giving cash to people in the street, you are encouraging them to stay on the street, rather than seek help.
WHAT ARE THE ALTERNATIVES?
There are local NGOs that are working to assist street people.
- Step 1 is to get them off the street and into a shelter where they can receive counselling.
- Step 2 is to encourage them to enter a rehabilitation programme.
- Step 3 is to reintegrate them with their families or communities of origin.
Our area (Woodstock, Salt River, Mowbray and Observatory) has several
fieldworkers who work with street people. By giving cash handouts, you
undermine their efforts.
MEAL VOUCHERS are a better alternative: they are available from both Spar
and Pick and Pay for R5 per voucher. In return the holder of the voucher will
get a lunch at Home SPM or a supper at Loaves and Fishes. Cash ‘passports’ to
The Haven are available from the Observatory Library.
THIS IS THE RESPONSIBLE ALTERNATIVE TO CASH HANDOUTS
WORKING TO ASSIST STREET PEOPLE
Here is some information about three local organisations who are working to
uplift street people. They deserve your support.
1. THE HAVEN
The Haven runs 14 shelters in the Western Cape, offering temporary shelter for up to 1500
people. The nearest shelter is the District Six Shelter in Selkirk Street (just off Sir Lowry Road). The manager is Sheila Jacobs (021 465 1310 or email@example.com).
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Buy a Haven cash ‘passport’ for R10 from The Haven Head Office (021 425 4700 or
firstname.lastname@example.org) or from the Observatory Library in Station Road. This entitles the
bearer to one night’s stay in a shelter (if available) with food, a shower, access to social
work services and assistance with returning home.
2. LOAVES AND FISHES
This is a second-phase shelter in Lower Rochester Road (in Obs). It provides
accommodation for people who are sober and drug-free and who wish to enter a
rehabilitation programme. It describes itself as a ‘Christian Renewal Centre’.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Buy a R5 supper coupon from Spar. This entitles the bearer to a hot supper on Tuesday,
Wednesday or Sunday evenings. If you wish to assist in other ways, speak to Collette May
(021 448 5900).
3. HOME STREET PEOPLES MINISTRY
Home SPM are in Shelley Road, Salt River (just past the Fire Station). They run a number
of programmes, give counselling, and provide tuition to ABET learners.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Buy a R5 lunch voucher at Pick n Pay. Home SPM runs a lunchtime soup kitchen from
Monday to Friday. If you wish to assist in other ways, contact the Home SPM Director,
Lorraine Kytides (083 3204 779).
Email: email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org
4. To contact the City’s Social Development helpline, phone 0800 872 201
These iniatives are supported by the City of CapeTown, by our Ward Councillor, Brett Herron, by the Observatory Improvement District and by the Observatory Civic
Association. This pamphlet is compiled by the Observatory Social Issues Forum.