Citizen Reporter
1 minute read
30 Mar 2020
11:23 am

Joburg shelters face shortages due to unanticipated numbers of homeless people

Citizen Reporter

This after the number of those seeking shelter grew overnight to numbers that were initially unaccounted for as word spread that the YMCA is accommodating homeless.

Homeless persons line up outside a shelter in Johannesburg, on March 28, 2020 after having been rounded up by officers of the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD). South Africa came under a nationwide lockdown on March 27, 2020, joining other African countries imposing strict curfews and shutdowns in an attempt to halt the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus across the continent. (Photo by MARCO LONGARI / AFP)

Unanticipated numbers of homeless people in need of shelter for the lockdown period in Johannesburg has led to the shortage of food and other supplies and it has posed a challenge to the provision of security at new sites identified for accommodation.

This comes after the City of Joburg (COJ) took a decision to bus homeless people to Young Men Christian Association (YMCA) in Soweto, Orlando East, on Friday evening.

“The city took a decision to bus the homeless to YMCA using the services of Metrobus (13 buses), escorted by JMPD. However, the number grew overnight as word spread out that YMCA is accommodating homeless, increasing the numbers that were initially accounted for,” said the city in a statement.

“The city would like to apologise to the community of Orlando East.”

The decision was made after the YMCA contacted the city to inform it of its availability to assist in housing the homeless.

“The city accepted this offer from the owner of YMCA as the shelters, 3 Kotze Overnight shelter and Governors House Assessment Centre in Braamfontein, in particular, were oversubscribed as the call for the homeless to be directed/present themselves to shelters in the City filtered through the streets.”

Following Friday’s situation, the homeless were then moved from the YMCA to various Recreational Centres across the city on Saturday.

“The city is working with the provincial department of social development to ensure that the homeless are housed, fed and secured in the city’s facilities,” added COJ.

They urged communities to support them in their efforts to take care of the homeless during this lockdown period.

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