THE Tshwane Leadership Foundation is tackling homelessness one step at a time with the launch of the Inn housing programme for the elderly homeless in the City of Tshwane.
Wayne Renkin, from the foundation said the Inn launched this week, would provide affordable housing for the elderly homeless in the City, who could not afford proper housing.
Renkin said with many elderly only receiving a grant as their source of income, balancing their basic needs, food and housing was a struggle on the R1 800 grant provided by Sassa.
He said the plight of elderly homelessness was also revealed by the 2015 research report conducted by the foundation alongside the City of Tshwane, the University of Pretoria and Unisa.
From the report, Renkin said it emerged that there were just over 1 000 elderly people without families, and left stranded on the streets because they could not afford a place to live.
It was, for this reason, he said for many organisations it was important during the lockdown to prioritise older homeless people as they were most vulnerable.
“We began this because we saw that along with other stakeholders, it truly was possible to end older person homelessness. We can’t claim to be communities living in the spirit of ubuntu yet we are simply watching the most vulnerable suffering on the streets.”
The facility, made available in partnership with the Yeast City Housing non-profit organisation will, according to Renkin, offer up 60 elderly persons with affordable housing as well as access to two meals a day and social services, to help with everything else they may need.
The housing project will be limited to persons 55 years and older, who do not require assisted living. Thirty elderly will move into the Inn, and the remainder will be housed once all the renovations are completed.
Renkin said the foundation had another facility for older special-needs men, which was opened during the early stages of national lockdown, called Tao (Lion).
He said Tao focused on older men with special needs, who didn’t have IDs to enable them to access services.
“If we look at all the homeless people, their needs and challenges vary from economic to medical and everything in between. There’s no one-size-fits-all, we need specific interventions for specific people hence this project.”