u-turn 25 birthday

Daily we are confronted by homelessness. The problem of homelessness is not unique to South Africa. The number of people who are classified as ‘rough sleepers’ is growing even in the developed world.

At the Business Breakfast on Tuesday, April 9, the director of U-turn, Sam Vos, said, “God doesn’t want anyone to die on the streets!” and went on to talk about the journey to employment offered by U-turn.

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This journey starts at U-turn’s service centre, the Powerhouse in Claremont, where people are able to receive food or clothing in exchange for a voucher. Through the Ignite programme they are challenged to make a “U-turn” and start a new journey. If they join the Life Change programme, they receive a work opportunity in one of U-turn’s stores, as well as Bible study, ongoing Occupational therapy, and training for personal and vocational skills to prepare them for future employment.

In total Life Change Champions, as they refer to themselves, spend around eighteen months at U-turn before graduating and finally getting permanent work.

Sam, pointed out that the programme doesn’t finish there. Their Occupational Therapists keep in contact and continue to meet with our graduates in order to make sure that they keep on track.

Brenden Mc Donald, graduated from U-turn in 2014. At the breakfast he shared his story and the many ways he benefited from U-turn learning skills which he is able to integrate into his present work.

After thirteen years struggling with Drug addiction, Brenden  was introduced to U-turn through an organization called Straatwerk. He told us that U-turn taught him how to be willing to change the direction of his life. They gave him tools to continue in that direction. One of the key things was how to deal with his sense of always being right. “They taught me how to be teachable and how to assess myself.” he explained. Today Brendon is working as a Labour Recruitment Officer placing other people in jobs.

Sam summed up the breakfast session with a verse from Matthew 5:14 – where Jesus says, “You are the light of the world.”

Sam summed up the breakfast session with a verse from Matthew 5:14 – where Jesus says, “You are the light of the world.” The work of U-turn is not about us, it’s about doing what God has called us to do. The work can only be achieved by the support of individuals. By those who give financially or by the distribution of meal vouchers to those in need. For others it is support given through volunteering or by donating clothes to be sold in our shops. We look forward to partnering with more of you in the future.

So if you feel overwhelmed by the problem please get in touch with U-turn to find out how you can help.

Our deep thanks to Truck Norris for providing breakfast to everyone who attended, with delicious sausages and scrambled egg on gourmet rolls.

Did you know?
100% of those joining the U-turn programme are unemployed when they start.
90% suffer from substance abuse.
88% of those graduating stay employed after leaving the programme.
There are presently 26 people on the Life Change programme.
Since U-turned opened the service centre in 2009, they have served over 80,000 meals.
A pack of 5 meal vouchers can be purchased for R100 which is R20 per meal: http://homeless.org.za/gift-of-vouchers