[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]This is a time of uncertainty for us all, and while the work that U-turn was doing before the Covid-19 outbreak was important, it has become increasingly important today.

We all face this threat, the greatest threat being overwhelmed healthcare facilities. By facing this together and looking after the most vulnerable, we will have a stronger and more caring City during this national emergency, and afterwards.

The homeless are particularly vulnerable to the Coronavirus because they have both compromised immune systems and a shortage of facilities to wash their hands.

Here are some ways that you can help…

  • Donate soap. Soap is a scarce commodity for those on the streets and can save lives. Donated soap can be dropped off in any U-turn clothing bin, store or our head office (find your nearest spot here: Homeless.org.za/contact-us)
  • Ask your Counsellor for public water points. During the 2018 water crisis, public taps were removed and never replaced. Help us by asking your ward counsellor to establish water points with access to soap for the homeless to their wash hands.
  • Join our Emergency Appeal. Help us to help more people. U-turn assists up to 1,000 people who face homelessness every year and with the current economic downturn the numbers needing assistance are very likely to rise sharply. Help ramp up our capacity. Go to Homeless.org.za/coronavirus-response

Finally, be kind. When we face personal crisis, there is a risk that we lose empathy for others. In this difficult time, it is only by pulling together that we can reduce the suffering for all.

Coronavirus Preventative Measures

If you notice someone who is homeless, on the street, with a repeated dry cough, please offer to phone the Coronavirus Emergency number (021 928 4102) on their behalf. You can direct them to this list of free testing sites in the Western Cape:

Coronavirus free testing western cape

At U-turn, following Government guidelines, we are taking steps to reduce risk to staff, volunteers and the clients we serve.

We’ve implemented the following preventative measure:

  • Stepping up hygiene control for all staff, volunteers and clients by making hand sanitiser readily available and disinfecting commonly touched surfaces daily.
  • Educating on thorough handwashing with soap for more than 20 seconds, with handwashing guidelines posted at every sink.
  • Implementing social distancing procedures, including not shaking hands
  • Asking staff member, volunteer or client who have symptoms to self-isolate.
  • At our Service Centre, while none of the sessions have more than 100 people at one time, as many sessions as possible (including the afternoon meal) will be held in an outside courtyard. We have also stepped up education on hand washing and now ask each person entering the building to thoroughly wash their hand with soap.

We are deeply grateful for your support at a time like this.

We trust in God’s guidance, and pray for the wisdom and strength needed for all of us to continue the work needed to support our City during this time.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]