Our birthday celebration has started.Over the next few weeks we will share 25 #Thisisworking videos from our graduates.
Today I am sharing my video with you. When I reflect on my journey out of homelessness I am grateful to U-turn for what they have done for me. Two years ago when I became homeless I did not know how I would come out of it, as I know people that have been entangled in its web for many years.
There were times when I was despondent because things were not working out. I was applying for work and sending business proposals, but every time I tried to get out of the web of homelessness, I hit a brick wall. One day the social worker at the night shelter suggested I join U-turn.
When I joined U-turn I did not know that they were actually giving me a map to follow to get out of the maze of homelessness. Sometimes dead ends lead to new beginnings.
My first two weeks were spent at the Durbanville charity shop. The bric-a-brac reminded me of my granny and the old books belonging to my grandfather. There was a sense of familiarity in the shop.
I moved to the Loaves and Fishes, a second phase shelter. On my first day there, I started working at the Mitchells Plain shop. Early morning check-in was soothing to the soul as fellow Champions would share what they were going through and encourage each other.
Once a week I would go to Church House on my personal development day. I journeyed with my caseworker who was a social worker through my Induction and Growth Stage modules.
While I was still on Growth Stage, I joined the U-turn communication team and started to work at reception. During that period I stepped over to Exit Stage, the final journey as a Champion.
Following the map U-turn gave me, I navigated my way out of homelessness and moved into my own apartment. Initially employed as a receptionist and social media coordinator, I have now move to online media coordinator and spokesperson
As my journey continued I graduated from the Phase 3 Work-readiness programme. The journey out of homelessness was not easy but, thanks to the pathway U-turn created, they equipped me with the skills to overcome it. As we our counting down the days to our 25 years birthday celebration, why not buy us a gift towards a mobile bus service centre, to reach those that are not able to come to our brick and mortar service centre, or a safe space for people who are sleeping rough on the streets, or a transitional home for our Champions as they walk the path out of homelessness.