Journey to the wholeness


The public helps us to reach street people by purchasing U-turn vouchers from resellers or from the U-Turn website, and handing these to street people who ask them for assistance.


The public helps us to reach street people by purchasing U-turn vouchers from resellers or from the U-Turn website, and handing these to street people who ask them for assistance.


The public that are too far from our service centre (ie anyone living outside of Rosebank to Wynberg) can donate vouchers to our service centre so that U-turn staff can “pay” street people who show up without a vouchers for participating in our programme. In this way, a donated voucher earns us 2 hours of contact with a person (1 hour to earn it, a 2nd hour to redeem it.)


Thanks to this contact, staff draws alongside street people and encourage them to participate in Drug and Alcohol rehab. Drug and Alcohol rehab is delivered by specialists partner organizations & U-Turn helps the individuals to access this service by sponsoring the accommodation and weekly train ticket. It normally takes 2-4 months to complete the drug and alcohol rehab and cost U-Turn R1200 per person per month.


As and when the individual graduates from the Drug and Alcohol rehab programme we try to offer individuals a space on our Life Change Programme. (at our charity shops, laundry or even the service centre) The latter involves weekly training in English, Computers, the bible and even Driving lessons. It also includes Occupational Therapy and ongoing exposure to work activities. This programme takes over 2 years to complete and by the end individuals have acquired significant new skills, self-confidence and work experience. We currently have capacity to engage 30 individuals in the programme & it is our stated ambition to grow this capacity to 100 positions in the next few years.


Individuals graduate from our programme when they secure open market employment. We seek to be in contact with graduates for 6 months beyond exit to monitor their long term outcome. We only count it a success if people have maintained their re-integration beyond the 6 month review period. If they relapse in this time, we try to bring them back onto the programme so that we might yet secure that stable, long term success.

Sam Vos Interviewed on Primemedia Broadcasting

U-Turn 2017 Annual Reports

U-turn’s services to the homeless has shown a significant increase in numbers and in quality, providing pathway out of homelessness by equipping the homeless with skills to overcome homelessness.

Annual Reports

2007 - 2016 are available on request

Annual Report Request

We are extremely grateful to everyone who values our work and underwrites the work through direct financial support. We could not do it without you! 

U-Turn on the map


Members of the public often ask us for advice on how to help homeless people in specific situations. The following list comprises some of the most common questions that we face as we try to help the homeless. We would value your feedback on any of these so that we can continue to sharpen our thinking and intervention programs.

Please note we have the contact details of over 200 organisations on our data base. This is therefore a very small subset of the organisations that we work with most closely:

The first thing to keep in mind is: a homeless person is a person. They need love, acceptance and human connections as much as any other individual.

Once you have established a connection, the best way to help a homeless person is to make it possible for him/her to access organisations like ours or the ones mentioned in the above FAQ.

Our organisations are equipped with professional support services for long-term, phased interactions. If you live in the U-turn Service Center catchment area, ie the Southern Suburbs, you can support individuals living on the street with a U-turn voucher, which provides access to food and clothing, and most importantly access to our support services.

If the person you want to assist does not stay in the U-turn Service Center catchment area, you can support the individual by buying him/her a weekly train ticket to access U-turn services. You’re welcome to contact our Service Center to check on the individual’s attendance and progress .

We have all experienced the heartache of giving assistance to a person only to realize later that our best efforts actually just made things worse. Question is, how do you help in ways that will actually make a lasting difference? In trying to answer this we have really appreciated a model that was given in a book called When helping hurts”.

The model teaches us that there are three different types of help that we can give (relief, rehab and development) and these have very different characteristics and intended outcomes. We know that if we get it wrong we often do more harm than good. We are also very aware that to get it right is difficult yet to do nothing is inexcusable. Welcome to our world!

Having grappled with this since 2006, we are very happy to share some insights that we have picked up along the way so feel free to invite us (+27 21 674 6119) to interact with your small group / community group / work colleagues about good ways to help the poor or if you have the chance, read the book.

Yes, however, they are not charged on a night-by-night basis.

For example, to access shelter at the Haven Night Shelter (the largest network of shelters in the Western Cape), a person is screened and assessed. If successful, the person can then stay for free for up to 10 days, after which they pay R84 per week if they are unemployed or R280 per week if employed or receiving a grant.*

Sheltered accommodation is a temporary solutions, and so individuals are required to find alternative accommodation within 3-6 months. Individuals are also generally not allowed to make use of this solution more than once.

While the Havens are the largest network of shelters in the Western Cape, there are also other shelters that work according to their own intake criteria and support structure. Most of them require some form of payment but the fee structures differ.

We would suggest that if you do want to support any individual with the cost of shelter, that it would be best to make payment to the shelter directly via EFT rather than giving the individual cash in hand, as giving money to a person on the street can fuel addiction and dependency. You are able to make regular contact with the shelter to ensure that the person still lives there.

*Please note: these amounts may vary. For accurate rates and in-take procedures, please contact The Haven or relevant shelter directly.