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Homeless people left out in the cold in Sea Point, bemoans Seaboard CAN

14 July 2020 2:19 PM
Tags:
Sea Point
Homeless people
Soup Kitchen
atlantic seaboard
Seaboard CAN
Isa Lee Jacobson

"Not one church or synagogue in Sea Point will help us, nor will the City of Cape Town", says the Seaboard Community Action Network (CAN).

Ahead of the storm which battered Cape Town last week, the Seaboard CAN's soup kitchen was put out on the streets.

The Seaboard CAN runs a soup kitchen in the Sea Point that feeds between 120 to 140 homeless people daily.

But they were recently told to leave the premises of the Sea Point Evangelical Congregational Church where they previously operated from, and have been struggling to find an alternative space since.

Homeless people queue for food near a bus stop in Sea Point on Friday 10 July. Image: Facebook/Isa Jacobson

The Seaboard CAN has approached various religious organisations in the area asking for space to run their soup kitchen.

Seaboard CAN organiser, Isa-Lee Jacobson, says religious leaders with vacant buildings in the area have not been willing to help.

One church apparently said that Sea Point residents would complain if they opened their doors to the soup kitchen.

RELATED: City of CT feels no remorse for tearing down tents in Obs - homeless resident

I'm standing there in the middle of the road telling people that I can't help them. It's devastating to be in that position.

Isa-Lee Jacobson, Coordinator - Seaboard Community Action Network

For 10 days now, we've had to operate without any kind of space because we were asked to leave the church which we were running the soup kitchen from since the middle of April. We were out on the streets.

Isa-Lee Jacobson, Coordinator - Seaboard Community Action Network

RELATED: Community Chest shelters over 150 homeless people as chilly weather hits CT

At the same time, officials from the local Social Development Department say shelters across Cape Town are full.

Jacobson says the City of Cape Town's Safe Space under Culemborg bridge cannot accommodate any more people either.

Meanwhile, she says Sea Point Civic Centre stands vacant, but homeless people are forced to fend for themselves, facing harsh winter weather during the Covid-19 pandemic.

We're sitting with the Seapoint Civic Centre, a huge space that's locked up... The only time you can get access to it is if you pay... If they could just open it up for us we wouldn't have this problem.

Isa-Lee Jacobson, Coordinator - Seaboard Community Action Network

We have no community halls, we have no spaces... It becomes incumbent upon the citizen to deliver... but in actual fact we really need the City to.

Isa-Lee Jacobson, Coordinator - Seaboard Community Action Network

On Friday, we were distributing black plastic sheets to keep [homeless people] sheltered from the impending storm.

Isa-Lee Jacobson, Coordinator - Seaboard Community Action Network

Some Sea Point residents have been opposed to the presence of homeless people in their area.

Lorraine, who lives in Three Anchor Bay, claims the homeless people are drug users and have attacked elderly residents in the past.

However, Peter Wagenaar, the man whose car was torched in May for feeding homeless people in the area, says he supports the good work of the Seaboard CAN.

He says helping the homeless is about affirming their human right to dignity.

Listen to the discussion on Today with Kieno Kammies:


14 July 2020 2:19 PM
Tags:
Sea Point
Homeless people
Soup Kitchen
atlantic seaboard
Seaboard CAN
Isa Lee Jacobson

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