Protect the homeless
For the pandemic and the lockdown to end, all must self-isolate. However, this is extremely difficult to achieve for our homeless community who are particularly at risk. The mix of malnutrition, addiction, TB and HIV are a perfect storm for COVID-19 to manifest in the most severe way. These people are scared and more desperate than ever. However, it is extremely difficult to provide any services to the homeless without inadvertently causing hundreds of people to congregate. A context that is again perfect for the virus to take hold.
PEN, in partnership with the Tshwane Homeless Forum (including NGO’s like TLF), has set up 11 shelters that enable social distancing for nearly 350 homeless people. Our process ensures that people are screened by a healthcare worker and social worker so that those over 55 years of age, women with children, those with addictions and those with comorbid diseases are accommodated separately. Clear “house rules” are in place and each person has a sleeping space with a 2m distancing.
We urgently need assistance to keep these fellow South Africans hygienic and COVID free during the lockdown and are calling for donations of the following:
- 2nd hand clothing (Men, women, children, babies. NB Underwear and socks)
- Bedding: blankets, pillows, camping mattresses
- Toiletries: Bars of soap, facecloths, toothbrushes, toothpaste, vaseline, body lotion
- Cleaning materials: Domestos, handy andy, dishwashing liquid, auto laundry powder, bathroom cleaner
- Food: Tin cups, canned products, maize meal, long-life milk, pasta, packet soup, soya mince, oats, rice, coffee, tea, rusks.
- Medical equipment focussing on basic content for a Medical Aid Kit
- Financial contributions to cover water, electricity and shelter management costs.