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“A woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman. But the search to find that voice can be remarkably difficult.”

The Powerhouse, U-turn’s Service Centre, usually serves breakfast to up to 80 people living on the streets every week day. However, to celebrate Women’s Day, August 9, breakfast this morning was dedicated to our women.  It celebrated those who have found their voice and those still searching for their voice.

Our homeless community are often disenfranchised and voiceless. Their experience is knitted together by uncertainty, social stigma and the struggle to survive. However, for women living on the street they face unique hurdles:  being vulnerable to sexual assaults, facing pregnancy on the street with limited access to services, or just struggling to access expensive sanitary ware.

Their struggle to escape homelessness is aggravated by gender inequality in the workforce and domestic violence which is often the cause for homelessness among women.  Women also often carry the burden of childcare, and this doesn’t change on the street. Homeless mothers have to juggle  earning a living while caring for their children.

To celebrate the women’s voices and inspire them to take the steps towards rehabilitation and reintegration, we treated them to a breakfast thanks to kind donations, cooked by Capsicum, the school for cooking. The team at Old Mutual donated handbags with gifts tucked inside. Charlotte Rhys and Faithful to Nature, the beauty brand, helped out by adding some goodies to the handbags. Protea Hotel Mowbray, our long-standing partners, donated mugs for the women.

One of U-turn’s final phase Life Change Champions, shared her story and journey with U-turn out of addiction and homelessness, and how she’s now able to be a mother for her children, so that they can grow up strong and resilient to life’s challenges.

Our deep thanks to everyone who took part, particularly the women who helped to fill the morning with laughter and affection, reminding all who took part of our innate dignity in God’s image.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]