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

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

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

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

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

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

Annakie Gammon

Connect Consulting

CHRIS DIPPENAAR

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

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.

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):

U-turn History

U-turn launch mi-change vouchers in partnership with MES

Two more service centers in CBD and Parow.

Transitional house in the northern suburbs.

A safe spacfe for 70-100 people at the Claremont service center in partnership with MES.

Jean-Ray Knoghton Fitt appointed CEO.

First warehouse for bric-a-brac.

New service centres in Muizenberg and Fish Hoek.

Work opportunities for clients increase from 34 to 60.

Church House P3 accommodation.

First charity shop and laundry.

Move from St Stephans Church to Head Office.

New Service Center in Mitchells Plain.

Laundry moved to Elsie’s River warehouse and 6th Charity Shop opens.

U-turn voucher launches to give responsibly to people on the streets.

Connect Consulting launches to assist NGOs with Salesforce.

CIDC provides first income and Centre.

Salesforce implemented to track and analyse programme.

Occupational Therapy pioneered for homeless rehabilitation.

First Service Centre

“Claremont Homeless Ministries” Founded by Colleen Lewis.

“Claremont Homeless Ministries” renamed “U-turn”.

Sam Vos appointed Director.

U-turn launch mi-change vouchers in partnership with MES

Two more service centers in CBD and Parow.

Transitional house in the northern suburbs.

A safe spacfe for 70-100 people at the Claremont service center in partnership with MES.

Work opportunities for clients increase from 34 to 60.

First warehouse for bric-a-brac.

New service centres in Muizenberg and Fish Hoek.

Jean-Ray Knighton Fitt appointed CEO.

Church House P3 accommodation.

New Service Center in Mitchells Plain.

First charity shop and laundry.

Laundry moved to Elsie’s River warehouse and 6th Charity Shop opens.

U-turn voucher launches to give responsibly to people on the streets.

Move from St Stephans Church to Head Office.

Connect Consulting launches to assist NGOs with Salesforce.

First Service Centre.

Occupational Therapy pioneered for homeless rehabilitation.

Sam Vos appointed Director.

Salesforce implemented to track and analyse prohramme.

“Claremont Homeless Ministries” renamed “U-turn”.

CIDC provides first income and centre.

“Claremont Homeless Ministries” Founded by Colleen Lewis.

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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