Four years later, City’s ‘pilot’ Safe Space continues to fly high

29 Jun 2022 in Where We Govern

The Culemborg Safe Space was trialed in 2018 as a pilot project that has since served as a blueprint for the creation of two more City-run Safe Spaces.

The City marks the fourth anniversary of the Culemborg 1 Safe Space today.

The overnight facility was opened on the Foreshore on 29 June 2018, to offer a transitional space for persons wanting to get off the street.

‘The Safe Space has always been about offering care to those in need. We’re expanding these Safe Spaces beyond the CBD and Bellville too, so that more residents have a warm, dry space to rest, receive meals and be connected to City services such as employment opportunities, rehabilitation and reintegration with their families. With the lifting of the remaining Covid-19 restrictions, we can now operate our Safe Spaces at full capacity. We are also adding 150 beds at the neighbouring Safe Space 2 in line with the expansion of our care programme, and demonstrate our commitment to the dignity and well-being of all our residents,’ said Cape Town Mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis.

The Safe Space can accommodate 230 people at a time, and offers ablution facilities, secure storage for personal belongings and access to developmental and other rehabilitation programmes.

‘It has not been an easy journey, and there are still many challenges, but I think it is also important to recognise the good work that has been done at this and our other Safe Spaces. The City had no blueprint when it opened the facility, and just as we were finding our feet, a global pandemic hit. Yet here we are, four years later, still assisting clients who want to move off the streets, learning as we go along and working very hard to further replicate the Safe Space model in other parts of Cape Town, so that we can assist even more people,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Patricia Van der Ross.

In spite of this, in the last 12 months, the facility has assisted a total of 450 clients, including:

  • 42 clients reunified with their families
  • 45 clients coached and supported into the next phase of their reintegration
  • 32 permanent employment opportunities
  • 56 short-term work opportunities through the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP)
  • 87 clients who attended the substance abuse treatment programme at the City’s Matrix® sites
  • One client who attended a six-week substance abuse programme at the Saltun Bauer Centre
  • SASSA grants for 27 clients
  • 62 individuals assisted with Identity Documents
  • 1 074 training and development programme opportunities on site