Homeless families at Boystown now being assisted

QUEZON CITY, Nov. 20 -- A team of social workers from the Department of Social Welfare and Development-National Capital Region (DSWD-NCR) continues to assist the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) of Manila in providing appropriate services to the homeless families who were brought to Boystown after a citywide reach out operation last week, which was solely an initiative of the Manila local government.

Around 24 families or 87 individuals composed of 42 adults and 45 minors are now temporarily staying at the center. There are also 118 unattached adults. All of them were reached out during last week’s operation.

Upon coordination with the CSWDO yesterday, the DSWD social workers gathered the families for an interview and assessment to determine their profile and the appropriate services that they need. The families will be assisted according to their needs.

Based on the assessment, the families who have their own houses will be brought back home. Those who do not have houses will be registered under the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer Program for Homeless Street Families (MCCT-HSF). Adults who are capable of working will be provided Cash-For-Work. The children, on the other hand, will undergo play therapy and other kids activities while at the center.

As of yesterday, 12 families were assessed to be potential beneficiaries of the MCCT-HSF and two are qualified under the regular Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. Some 73 adults are currently undertaking Cash-for-Work (CFW) where they help in cleaning the quarters and the surroundings of the center. The CFW beneficiaries will receive P360 per day.

The rest are being assessed for other appropriate services or referral to other government agencies.

Some of the families whose houses were gutted by fire and were forced to stay on the streets will also be given appropriate services.

The team of social workers also brought 300 family food packs for the families to ensure their daily food needs.

To keep the families busy, a free training on massage therapy and haircutting for the adults is being conducted at the center.

DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said that DSWD-NCR will continue to work with the CSWDO to ensure the safety and welfare of the families.

Based on the Devolution Act of 1991, LGUs have the primary role of assisting street dwellers under their jurisdiction while the DSWD is mandated to render technical and resource augmentation to LGUs.

For his part, Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada also visited the families at the center to validate reports that they are being detained. He assured the families that food supply will be enough to cover their stay at the center.

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