About Us

U-turn Equips People With Skills To Overcome Homelessness

About Us

U-turn is a registered Christian NGO with headquarters in Cape Town (registered NPO 029-116-NPO and Public Benefit Organisation 930074776 with a BBBEE level 1)

Over the past 20 years

We have crafted an innovative skills based programme designed by occupational therapists, that is Christian faith based including Bible Study, Biblical counselling and Fellowship, with long term results for rehabilitation and reintegration. Six months after graduating from the programme, more than 80% of participants remain employed and sober.

 

Our phased programme

Starts with basic needs relief, like food and clothing, available at our First Phase Service Centre. It continues on to Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Support, and finally culminates in a work-based learnership that lasts on average 19 months, called the “Life Change” programme, which nurtures an individual’s personal and vocational skills, as well as relapse prevention.

The Life Change programme

Is the heart of U-turn’s skills development model and offers work-placement at one of our Charity shops, our laundry or at our First Phase Service Centre. The shops are managed from the top down by formerly homeless individuals, providing on-th-job learning of merchandising, stock taking, customer service and other skills. Participants also access weekly occupational therapy, relapse prevention and formal training in English, literacy, IT, as well as accredited business management for selected participants.

Participants graduate into the open labour market. Our results are positive and long-term. 

U-turn Innovation

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Voucher System

We use a cashless vouchers system entitling the holder to a meal or clothing. Importantly it is a ticket to support services and activities to ignite motivation for change.

SUBSIDISED STIPEND

We work alongside the people we serveenabling us to subsidise stipends and for them to serve others still living on the streets.

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OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY

We pioneered occupational therapy for the homeless in Cape Town to establish practical tools to overcome life challenges.

SELF-GENERATED INCOME

Nearly half of our income is self-generated through social enterprises such as our software consultancy agency to other NPOs, called Connect Consulting,  and retail businesses.

Meet Our Team

Jean-Ray Knighton-Fitt

Director U-Turn

Jean-Ray first encountered U-turn in 2004 while working to assist street children in Cape Town. His interest in U-turn’s unique approach to the challenge of homelessness made him keep tabs on the Ministry’s growth over the years. “U-turn is an incredible organisation with a great vision and I am proud to take the helm from Sam who, along with a skilled and dedicated staff team, did a fantastic job in building U-turn into what it is today. “

Jacquie Beselaar

Personal Assistant to Director

Jacquie started working at U-turn in 2013 as support to the CEO after working as a teacher and then in admin for many years. “I love working at U-turn…there is never a dull moment and I feel constantly inspired by the incredible change and hope I have seen in the people who move through U-turn’s programmes as they choose to leave addiction and homelessness behind.”

Jonathan Hopkins

Operations

Jon started working at U-turn in 2016. Before joining U-turn he spent 9 years in the HIV sector working for an international organisation based in London building the capacity of non-profit organisations all over the world. He has also spent time working with the UN in Swaziland and as a primary school teacher in Tanzania.

Hudson Mc Comb

Retail Supply

Hudson started working at U-turn in 2018. He is responsible for Retail Support and Asset Management. “I enjoy the sense of common purpose, “can do” attitude and commitment to continuous reassessment of systems and functions in order to improve and innovate.”

Rowen Ravera-Bauer

Strategic Partnerships

Rowen joined U-turn in 2017, after supporting the organisation for several years by purchasing U-turn vouchers while living in Claremont. She has worked both internationally and locally for large and small NGOs including the United Nations World Food Programme, providing strategic communications for partnership and resource development. Rowen is motivated by the stories of transformation she’s seen while supporting and then working for U-turn.

Annakie Gammon

Connect Consulting

CHRIS DIPPENAAR

RETAIL OPERATIONS

Chris started working at U-turn in 2019. His role in U-turn is to oversee our charity stores. “What inspires me is being able to do retail with Purpose helping change lives . “

Aldrin Brooks

Finance

Aldrin has joined U-turn towards the middle of 2021. His role at U-turn is to steward over the finances of the organisation. Prior to joining U-turn, he spend 6 years heading up the finances in an international Christian broadcaster in Africa and the last two years in one of South Africa’s biggest retailers. What excites him daily, is that we are able to make a lasting impact in the lives of those in need, every time we act with purpose. He’s looking forward to many more lives being transformed, by the grace of God.

Work with U-turn

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Strategic Partnership and Communications Manager

Background

U-turn is a thriving non-profit that exist to give homeless people the skills to overcome homelessness. Founded in 1997, we believe in life after homelessness. We believe that every homeless individual should have access to an effective pathway that addresses their physical, spiritual and emotional needs so they can leave the streets and become a long-term productive member of society.

To help homeless people overcome homelessness we operate a phased approach that includes rehabilitation from substance abuse, counselling, life-skills training and work placement in one of our social enterprises. This allows candidates to test and apply the training they’ve received. In the process, the programme inculcates a healthy work ethic, furnish modern job skills and give 18-24 months of real work experience so that individuals can graduate and be gainfully employed in the modern South African economy.

The programme is yielding wonderful results. Our candidates typically graduate into open market employment and show an 83% long term success rate! We are actively working to expand the programme to more locations in Cape Town and across South Africa.

Service Centres

U-turns Service Centres provide services to people living on the streets, to prepare them for and to support them on a journey of change. This includes providing food and clothing, therapeutic and development based interventions, and providing recovery support for those struggling with substance abuse. The ultimate aim of the Service Centre is to prepare individuals to participate in our work-based rehabilitation programme.

Work-readiness program

The work-readiness department forms part of the Life Change Journey and is tasked with providing work-based rehabilitation and skills development training that prepares clients for graduation into the open labour marker and reintegration into community. One day a week, each client attends a training day where they access group therapy, counselling, and input using a specially designed curriculum. This cycle of learning and then application follows a graded approach and continues for as long as needed. It takes an average of 18 months. Case-managers coordinate the entire intervention programme for the clients and work in close-collaboration with the worksite managers.

The position

U-turn is looking for a Strategic Partnership and Communications Team Leader.

The ideal candidate will be a committed Christian with at least three years of management experience in fundraising and communications, and a thorough understanding of the non-profit sector. The successful candidate will need to demonstrate a proven track record of visionary leadership; keeping up with trends, laws and relevant information; seeing new opportunities and breaking new ground.

The 2022 annual budget is R24m, half of which is raised by the communications team. The team consists of six staff with skills that include: fundraising, content creation, graphic design, web development, social and mainstream media, and donor stewardship.

Key areas of responsibility

  • Develop and oversee the implementation of U-turn’s communication and fundraising strategy.
  • Line manage the stewardship & communications team
  • Oversee the creation of content and promotion through various platforms including website, newsletters, video, mainstream and social media
  • Identify and create new donor / supporter leads.
  • Develop and maintain important stakeholder relationships.
  • Research funding opportunities and oversee the timeous writing / compilation and submission of funding proposals.

Experience and Skills

  • Leadership of staff and volunteers in an intercultural environment
  • Ability to identify and maximise communication and funding opportunities
  • Keeping up to date with trends, laws and relevant information
  • Excellence in written and spoken communication
  • Ability to manage and diffuse tension
  • Public Speaking
  • Networking
  • Creativity
  • Data-analysis
  • Mainstream and social media
  • Video and web development
  • Driver’s license

Personal attributes

  • Resourceful individual that is not easily flustered
  • Ability to self-motivate, and work with minimal supervision, and supervise a multidisciplinary team
  • Collaborative team player – concerned with the team success as well as individual performance
  • Emotionally mature individual
  • Problem solver who is open to change and able to take initiative
  • Willingness to learn and grow personally

Next Steps

Candidates interested in this position must submit a letter of motivation and CV to recruitment@homeless.org.za. The letter of motivation should be approximately 1 page in length and include information on why you would like to work at U-turn and how you fulfil the required knowledge skills set outlined above. Please note that applications without a letter of motivation will not be considered.

U-turn Recruitment consultant / Placement Officer

Background

U-turn is a thriving non-profit that exists to give homeless people the skills to overcome homelessness. Founded in 1997, we believe in life after homelessness. We believe that every homeless individual should have access to an effective pathway that addresses their physical, spiritual and emotional needs so they can leave the streets and become a long-term productive member of society.

To help homeless people overcome homelessness we operate a phased approach that includes rehabilitation from substance abuse, counseling, life-skills training and work placement in one of our social enterprises. This allows candidates to test and apply the training they’ve received. In the process, the programme inculcates a healthy work ethic, furnishes modern job skills and gives 18-24 months of real work experience so that individuals can graduate and be gainfully employed in the modern South African economy.

The programme is yielding wonderful results. Our candidates typically graduate into open market employment and show an 80% long term success rate! We are actively working to expand the programme to more locations in Cape Town and across South Africa

Service Centres

U-turns Service Centres provide services to people living on the streets, to prepare them for and to support them on a journey of change. This includes providing food and clothing, therapeutic and development based interventions, and providing recovery support for those struggling with substance abuse. The ultimate aim of the Service Centre is to prepare individuals to participate in our work-based rehabilitation programme.

Work-readiness program

The work-readiness department forms part of the Life Change Journey and is tasked with providing work-based rehabilitation and skills development training that prepares clients for graduation into the open labor market and reintegration into community. One day a week, each client attends a training day where they access group therapy, counseling, and input using a specially designed curriculum. This cycle of learning and then application follows a graded approach and continues for as long as needed. It takes an average of 18 months. Case-managers coordinate the entire intervention programme for the clients and work in close-collaboration with the worksite managers.

The position

This position will hold some administrative duties as part of the on-boarding and earlier stages of the Work-readiness program, but the bulk of the job description will be to assist with placing of the clients in external employment opportunities during the last phase of the Work-readiness program.

Key areas of responsibility

  • Generate leads for potential employers
  • Building a recruitment pipeline
  • Conduct work-site assessment (training will be provided)
  • Take on some administrative duties on the work-readiness program such as managing Work readiness referral inbox and updating the work-readiness roster
  • Work with DPT team to connect Integration Phase clients with potential employers ∙ Manage the Jobs-board
  • Complete required data capturing, including service instances, client notes and progress reports
  • Contribute to program development

Experience and Skills

  • Driver’s Licence
  • HR qualification
  • Business qualification added benefit
  • Strong administrative skills

Personal attributes

  • Resourceful individual that is not easily flustered
  • Ability to self-motivate, and work with minimal supervision
  • Collaborative team player – concerned with the team success as well as individual performance
  • Emotionally mature individual
  • Problem solver who is open to change and able to take initiative
  • Willingness to learn and grow personally

Organisational Fit (where applicable)

  • If in Recovery – actively engaged in own ongoing recovery, accessing accountability support and practicing recovery behaviour
  • If employed as a Professional – affiliation with professional board, continued personal development and accessing supervision
  • Gospel orientation – connected to a local fellowship of believers, reading the Bible and grounded in Gospel-motivated Social Action

Next Steps

Candidates interested in this position must submit a letter of motivation and CV to recruitment@homeless.org.za. The letter of motivation should be approximately 1 page in length and include information on why you would like to work at U-turn and how you fulfill the required knowledge skills set outlined above. Please note that applications without a letter of motivation will not be considered.

Retail Shop Manager - Johannesburg

Background

U-turn is a thriving non-profit that exist to give homeless people the skills to overcome homelessness. Founded in 1997, we believe in life after homelessness. We believe that every homeless individual should have access to an effective pathway that addresses their physical, spiritual and emotional needs so they can leave the streets and become a long-term productive member of society.

To help homeless people overcome homelessness we operate a phased rehabilitation programme that gives individuals new ways of thinking (via Substance abuse rehab, direct training and Occupational Therapy) as well as work places (offered in our social enterprises) where candidates can test and apply the training they’ve received. In the process, the programme inculcates a healthy work ethic, furnish modern job skills and give 18-24 months of real work experience so that individuals can graduate and be gainfully employed in the modern South African economy.

The programme is yielding wonderful results. Our candidates typically graduate into open market employment and show an 83% long term success rate! We are actively working to expand the programme to more locations in Cape Town and across South Africa.

The position

There is an opportunity for a person with strong retail skills and experience to join the U-turn team as a Manager in one of several Northern suburbs sites, thus giving them the opportunity to apply their professional retail skills in a development setting.

Reporting directly to the Retail Operations Manager, the candidate will apply their retail skills to run our retail store to grow sales and profitability. At the same time, the person will be managing a team of sales assistants who were formerly homeless and are currently on the U-turn work- rehabilitation programme.

The ideal candidate is someone who is happy to work in an organisation with strong Christian motivations, displays a passion to see people grow (i.e. to work developmentally) and is excellent at customer service. This is a full-time position.

Key areas of responsibility

  • Manage a U-turn charity store to meet sales targets, including motivating staff to do so.
  • Provide excellent customer service, dealing effectively with complaints and queries, and encouraging customers to join the U-turn loyalty programme.
  • Ensure cash and stock handling at the store is done as per instructions
  • Preparing promotional materials and displays
  • Ensure the store is a therapeutic space for those on the U-turn Life Change Programme.
  • Provide training for and day to day management of store assistants, including task allocation, leave days, adherence to the disciplinary code, and supporting the unique growth journey of each person.
  • Maintain, update, and enforce safety and security procedures.

Experience

  • Previous experience in the retail sector (essential)
  • Experience as a duty manager/ assistant manager or a manager in a retail setting (desirable)

Skills

  • Excellent communication skills – verbal and written
  • Well-developed interpersonal skills
  • Excellent organisational skills and ability to prioritise
  • A collaborative team player – concerned with the team success as well as individual performance
  • Ability to motivate, coach and develop people
  • Commercial awareness

Personal Attributes

  • Self-starter – high energy levels, able to self-direct their work to hit targets.
  • Enthusiastic and confident
  • Resourceful
  • Trustworthy – works with integrity
  • Good Listener – will challenge constructively and respond well to feedback

Organisational Fit (where applicable)

  • If in Recovery – actively engaged in own ongoing recovery, accessing accountability support and practicing recovery behaviour
  • If employed as a Professional – affiliation with professional board, continued personal development and accessing supervision
  • Gospel orientation – connected to a local fellowship of believers, reading the Bible and grounded in Gospel-motivated Social Action

Next steps

Candidates interested in this position should apply to recruitment@homeless.org.za. You must include a CV and a letter of motivation as part of the application plus a photo of yourself. The letter of motivation should be approximately 1 page in length and include information on why you would like to work at U-turn and how you fulfil the required skills and attitudes outlined above. Applications without a letter of motivation will NOT be considered.

Salesforce Consultant

Background

Connect Consulting are a Salesforce consulting and implementation partner for non-profit organisations. We specialise in supporting non-profit organisations to leverage the power of the Salesforce platform to improve their customer relationship management (CRM) and monitoring and evaluation (M&E). Since Connect Consulting was founded in 2010, we have completed more than 150 projects for 70 different organisation within South Africa and internationally.

One of the main benefits of Connect Consulting, is that is owned and run as a Social Franchise of U-turn – with profits supporting U-turn’s work. U-turn is a thriving non-profit that exist to give homeless people the skills to overcome homelessness. U-turn believes that every homeless individual should have access to an effective pathway that addresses their physical, spiritual, and emotional needs so they can leave the streets and become a long-term productive member of society. The programme is yielding wonderful results. Our candidates typically graduate into open market employment and show an 80% long term success rate! We are actively working to expand the programme to more locations in Cape Town and across South Africa.

The position

Connect Consulting are looking for a Salesforce Consultant to join our growing team. The developer will have experience in designing and implementing Salesforce customisation projects to a variety of organisations. Existing experience of the Non-Profit Success Pack will be particularly desirable.
If you are an individual that wants to work with purpose (rather than to make a nameless shareholder richer!) then this is the perfect job for you.

Key areas of responsibility

  • Help to secure new clients (i.e. lead generation, giving demos and conversion)
  • Map the Client’s business functions into formal business processes, using Business Analysis (including drawing up of estimates to complete quotes for clients).
  • Build and the solution within Salesforce Non-Profit Success Pack.
  • Implement the new system – this includes cleaning and migration of historical data, training users and assisting with user adoption.
  • Provide support to existing Salesforce clients.

Experience and Skills

  • Certified Salesforce consultant (essential)
  • 3 years’ experience of Salesforce implementation
  • Worked with the Non-Profit Success Pack (desirable)
  • Understanding of system and data integration architecture and a strong understanding of relational databases.
  • Business analysis skills
  • Technical problem solving and ability to think logically
  • Ability to learn quickly and a love for continuous learning
  • Advanced Excel skills (desirable)

Personal Attributes

  • A problem solver who can take initiative

  • Patient, persistent and methodical
  • Able to work accurately at a reasonably fast pace under pressure
  • Ability to self-motivate, and work with minimal supervision
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Collaborative team player – concerned with the team success as well as individual performance
  • Emotionally mature individual
  • Willingness to learn and grow personally

    Next steps

    Candidates interested in this position must submit a letter of motivation and CV to recruitment@homeless.org.za. The letter of motivation should be approximately 1 page in length and include information on why you would like to work at U-turn and how you fulfil the required knowledge skills set outlined above. Please note that applications without a letter of motivation will not be considered.

    U-turn Partners

    Our ethos is underpinned by the need for lasting change, partnerships with other NGOs, human dignity and integrity. If you would like to find out more, please contact us.

    U-turn is deeply grateful for the partners who make our work possible, including (but not limited to):

    Ways To Donate

    Donate Through The Website

    Donate By EFT

    Account name: Uturn
    Bank: Nedbank
    Account Number: 121 0721 198
    Sort code / branch code: 198765
    Swift code: NEDSZAJJ
    Transaction reference: Your email | Once-off/Monthly

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