The use of drugs has been found to be widespread among homeless youth. Utilizing drugs on a daily basis for most of them is a coping mechanism with hunger, fear, loneliness and despondency they face on the streets.
For the first time, since March 27, the homeless have not been able to easily access any form of drugs and have found it difficult to be in contact with their suppliers due to COVID 19 Lockdown restrictions put in place. On level 5 restrictions, interventions are undertaken on outreach - we witnessed some beneficiaries being able to reduce the misuse of drugs.
From the 1st of May 2020 and subsequent to the 1st of June 2020, the Lockdown restrictions were eased to level 4 & 3 respectively, where much movement was permitted. The sense of freedom regained came with high levels of drug intake for the majority, a number of whom absconded from temporary shelters.
The COVID 19 pandemic still limits us as an organisation to engage with beneficiaries in a systematic process as offered pre COVID 19 period, to limit the misuse of drugs. We are exploring new strategies in line with the set safeguarding and preventative measures to curb the spread of the pandemic. We will continue to offer Outreach and Psychosocial support, encouraging beneficiaries during this time and ensuring we at least find new alternatives to better the lives in need to transform.
The issue of drugs still remains a huge problem to the homeless, as we navigate our survival during the COVID 19 pandemic.
Thank you for support during this trying time.