Since the president of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, addressed the nation on measures government is taking to mitigate the impact of the COVID 19 pandemic that has resulted in loss of income to business and individuals, at uMthombo we have been trying to translate this for our street-connected context.
Though those who are homeless, undocumented or underemployed are often ignored or forgotten by society, the truth is, they are increasing in numbers and the COVID 19 period has brought them closer to our daily realities and have been affected to a greater extent, since they cannot receive any form of income from their piece jobs or from begging on the streets.
The R350 Social Relief Grant in the next 6 months will make a difference in the lives of the homeless to take care of some of their basic needs. It has been a boost to us to hear that majority of our beneficiaries are eligible to receive the grant since in the beginning, it was unclear how the homeless would be able to access the grant and what the specific eligibility criteria would be.
35 street-connected beneficiaries have secured bank accounts and have been able to submit an application to receive the grant, and are now awaiting approval. 40 more individuals have started the application process to access the grant. Through our street-connected psychosocial interventions, we aim to help those who have gained access to the grant to use it sparingly and we are also hoping that we can win a majority to start a way out of poverty into creating a platform to begin an independent living trajectory.
uMthombo will still continue to support our street-connected beneficiaries with their needs and our Social Workers will be supporting and guiding our beneficiaries on how they can use this social relief grant accordingly to sustain them during the COVID 19 Lockdown period and beyond.
All Lives Matter!!!