Social Issues report may 2022

It is with sad news we say good-bye to Donovan Swartbooi our infamous obs community member who passed this month. Donovan will be remembered for his upcycling of beautiful flowers sold door to door in Observatory. He is missed by all his clients and family on the village green and at the Obs Rainbow House shelter where he got to spend his last days peacefully before he passed in hospital. A lovely funeral was held and we thank everyone in the community, our organizations for supporting in making it a special send off. We will always remember his high posh English accent which always made us feel special – as to receive flowers from the queen of England.

Rainbow house update

Please sign our petition below to keep the Obs Rainbow House shelter among many others dependent on the Public Employment Program funding homelessness in Cape Town.

Calling on the City of Cape Town to not discontinue the Public Employment Program (PEP) funding homelessness in Cape Town*

Please sign the petition to keep our homeless in shelter this Winter and beyond!

This programme kicked off at the beginning of this year and there are already close to 600 clients participating in this initiative through partner organisations.

We believe funds are available for projects like this to continue in Cape Town for 3 years.

In Observatory alone, funding has allowed OBSID to manage a work-based rehabilitation programme, with meals, travel stipends as well as psychosocial support from a Social Worker and a Community Worker. This programme offers people who have lived on the streets of Observatory for many years the chance to belong, to learn work skills, to earn a stipend and to access various forms of support including medical assistance. All 9 clients in this programme are currently living off the streets. Given more time and funding, OBSID could enrol even more people in the programme – making a meaningful difference in more lives.

One of the partner organisations registered for this programme is running a supportive housing project in Observatory, currently housing 24 people who make rental contributions towards the running costs from the stipends they earn on the programme. Without these stipends, they would most likely be back living on the streets and in public spaces given the lack of suitable accommodation and shelter beds in the City.

With the arrival of winter and bitterly cold and wet conditions on the streets, it is inconceivable that the City would want to expose this vulnerable population to such a risk.

We’re begging the City of Cape Town to reconsider ending funding for this vital programme which has had significant impact in a short period of time and can do more if given the chance.

Kimon Kiki