Social development, “Give a Hand-Up, not a Hand-Out”, within the MID requires a transversal approach. Social development challenges along with inadequate transformation and support services, permeate throughout the streets of Cape Town. Zone in on Muizenberg, and you will see small clusters where this is also reflected in the fabric of the homeless community living on our local streets.
Marion Wagner, MID Chair, reflects upon the MID, since its inception, having structured the social development service implementation to adapt to the changing landscape of needs. “We find ourselves in the challenging position of implementing social development support services, whilst also focussing on public safety services – a difficult balance when faced with destitute individuals, struggling with their own concept of human rights and dignity.”
Having observed changes within the City’s Vulnerable Persons Unit and City Law Enforcement, and the MID’s reinforced working relationship with the Provincial Department of Social Development and various organisations; it had become clear that a full-time focus is required to consistently address the challenges that hinders social intervention support services. Significantly impacting on the MID’s overall mandate, raising the need for greater advocacy within the sector.
Given the above, the MID has offered City EPWP Fieldworker, Tasneem Hoosain, a position on the MID social development team. Until June 2018, Tasneem was undertaking developmental fieldwork amongst the homeless people in Simon’s Town. We believe that Tasneem is a great asset to the team; not only does she have a social auxiliary qualification but she lived on the streets herself – overcoming immense challenges. She therefore brings to the team an authenticity and understanding of the very real challenges of life on the streets.
Tasneem will take up her full-time position as MID’s Social Development Officer on 1 October 2018. Enabling the MID to expand the Open-Door Social Support Services to two mornings per week:
- Mondays 12:30pm – 3:30pm
- Thursdays 8:30am – 12:30pm
In addition, the MID will benefit from increased fieldwork services in partnership with the City. This change will furthermore allow for a closer working relationship with MID public safety and cleaning teams who also act as change-agents and observers.
“These service implementation changes have been discussed with the relevant City Departments, Vulnerable Persons Unit and Law Enforcement, and we look forward to joint service intervention, as a City top-up partner going forward” says Johan Lotter, MID Director for Social Development.
The MID’s contract with Social Work Connect, Marion Thomas (social worker), concludes at the end of September and sincere gratitude has been expressed for Marion and her team for their commitment during their contracted period of service.
Click on the link below to listen to the CCFM Radio Interview where Tasneem shares some of her personal experiences of life on the streets and why it’s important to give responsibly.