April & May Updates
We have had two strategic planning sessions as the New Hope board in the space of a month. This has been very positive and has kicked off a very exciting season of digging deeper into the philosophy that makes New Hope so comprehensive and distinguished.
In this process we are seeking to be even more robust in our approach as we work with some of the most vulnerable yet resilient members of our community. In so doing we have been (and will continue) drawing on the latest research and contextual understanding of the psychosocial, political, economic and spatial factors which influence the state of homelessness in Cape Town, as well as on the most reliable models of recovery.
Our strategic planning meetings have also helped us discern that we are at a point where, having 6 participants on our programme is the perfect number for the time being, as we lay down thicker foundations for an impending ‘gear up’ and expansion of the New Hope programme. This translates into us working intensively and faithfully with the current 6 on the programme, as well as working hard to put the mechanisms in place which will allow us to grow as an organisation in the coming months.
We are a quarter way through the year and it feels like time is flying! It seems an appropriate time to sit back and reflect on what has gone on in the last 3 months and to dream and plan for the next. We feel that the year has started well for us! We have been able to spend some time reconfiguring and rehashing some of our systems and strategies. The new addition to the social work team has also been a great help and are able to give more one on one attention to our various beneficiaries. It feels like it has been an exciting time with new expectations and fresh energy. This coming Sunday for example we as the New Hope Board will be spending the morning developing an intentional strategy for the rest of the year where we will be looking at all facets of New Hope and building on and developing what we believe in. If you are a praying person, please do be thinking of us during the next few weeks especially.
February has come and gone in the blink of an eye and the excitement of March and the new things it will bring, is upon us. We are excited to announce that form the first of March Leila Bolland who has been our administrator over the past few months will be moving into a social work role for New Hope. Along with this change Vivien Hobbs will be joining the team as our second employee and social worker, and between the two of them will share the administrative tasks as well. We are so excited for our team to be growing and we trust that our capacity to assist more people will grow as well.
January hit the ground running as we spent most of the month catching up with our beneficiaries and planning for the next couple of months. The festive season is not always an easy time for our beneficiaries, so we were very pleased when all of them made it through December and had remained strong in their recovery. We can’t however say the same for January, as we have had a few relapses and walkouts. There were a number of shifts from primary rehab to tertiary early in the month which had us readjusting as well as being able to connect more with those who had moved back to Cape Town. We have also had a number of exciting things happen over the month that we will share with you in the newsletter.
November has been another busy month in the life of New Hope and our beneficiaries. We have taken on two new beneficiaries and continued journeying with some previous beneficiaries, and we can’t believe how the month has flown by and we are in December already. As we come to the end of 2018 we have begun to reflect on the year and what have been wins, challenges and area we need to grow in. We have been humbled as we remember that we don’t always have all the answers and we fall short on some of the decisions that we make. Yet we are set on learning from our shortcomings and giving our beneficiaries our best. We have been reminded that just as God has grace for our mistakes, we too are to show grace to others and have been truly challenge to show this same grace to our beneficiaries, as we walk this rocky and unpredictable journey with them.
October has been a relatively quiet month in the life of New Hope with no major changes taking place. We are grateful for the quiet as we gear down to the end of the year and begin planning for next year. Our beneficiaries have been consistent in their pursuit of recovery and we are so grateful to God for His grace over their lives and their journeys over this last month.
September has seen a lot of changes in the life of New Hope SA, some very exciting and others sad and difficult to process. As of the first of September we have had our first employee. We hired an Administrator, fully funded by Studio Bolland, to do most of the behind the scenes administration tasks in order to keep New Hope SA running smoothly. It has been a wonderful gift to the board members who were carrying a lot of the administrative tasks, and is now freeing them up to focus more on the relational side of supporting our beneficiaries. Some sad news has come with one our beneficiaries choosing to leave our programme and being suspended from our services. It is always tough to watch as people make decisions which result in them back in the same place as where they started, or so it seems. However we remain hopeful and prayerful that the part that we played in their journey ultimately results in an abundance of fruit, even if we never get to see it ourselves.
First up, we have an exciting new video launching in the next couple of weeks on 'How Shelters Work' which we'll be sharing soon. Watch this space.
Prayers have been answered as we have managed to secure sufficient funds to see us through to the end of the year thanks to you, our supporters! One of our board members, Richard, posted his thoughts on the last couple of months:
If you haven’t realized it by now, journeying with our friends who are struggling against substance abuse and working towards independence is a rollercoaster of emotions, with small steps of progress often being succeeded by significant setbacks in their journeys. We are grateful for the broad (and ever-expanding) network of partners who we work with; they serve not only as partners but also as a great encouragement.
The month of June was filled with feelings of optimism and excitement, as well as facing new
challenges with many of our beneficiaries. We’ve been tested as an organisation, and at the
same time we’ve made strides in building relationships with our partner organisations.
We’ve had the privilege of hosting a workshop on Shelters & Rehabs in partnership with the Observatory Civic Association. Some of our past beneficiaries spoke at the event providing valuable insight of day-to-day challenges that street people face. Our guests left the workshop equipped with new skills to help street people in different situations as well as seeing street people in a different light.
As we progressed through the month of May, so too did the journey continue alongside our beneficiaries. At times it can seem like taking 2 steps forward and one (or two!) steps back, yet providing a stable, consistent, and healthily boundaried relationship is what we hope is an anchor for them as they move towards recovery. It is also a journey of being humbled, taught and growing for the New Hope members as we learn what it is to be in community together. May has continued to see a large increase in the numbers attending Thursday evening community dinners and we have had to close the doors and turn people away on a number of evenings. We supplied each guest with a UTurn voucher, which was received with enthusiasm, and enables the holder to get food or clothes at the organisation.
We are overjoyed to share that Bill is now living independently! A few of us took a drive out out to his new place in Klapmuts to take him a few helpful items for his new home, including a bed, a mattress and a bed-side table. It was great to see both his new home and his excitement to be living independently. The New Hope team is incredibly proud of Bill - as he is the first person who has gone from the streets to full independence through our program. We will continue to hold a relationship with Bill and encourage him on his journey. You can read about his full journey here.
Cape Town to pilot “safe space” for homeless people
Every Thursday night, we meet and share a meal with the community of Mowbray at St. Peters Church. This year, we’ve seen a significant increase in the number of attendees at the dinners. Whether this a result of increase social pressures on the vulnerable in the area, or a consequence of changes we’re making to the Dinners, is not yet clear. These changes include selecting an earlier opening time for the evening. This has been an effort to maximize the potential for relationships to be built between all those attending. So far, we’ve certainly seen the benefits of this time in bringing people closer together for longer. Meeting our secondary goal of satisfying the food needs of such a large group of guests has been a challenge. We continue to trust in God, who provides enough food, without fail, and enough hands to serve.
A “safe space” for homeless people at the Culemborg bridge in Cape Town is being prepared. Photo: Aidan Jones
A “safe space” for homeless people at the Culemborg bridge in the Cape Town city centre should be operational in May 2018, according to JP Smith, Mayco Member for Safety and Security, and Social Services.
In our January updates we mentioned that we were making a change to our starting time of Community dinners- shifting it from 18:30 to 18:00 in an attempt to bridge the gap between those who waited outside and those who were volunteering inside.
This change of time has been a welcomed breath of fresh air, allowing time for card games and even colouring in. We are busy testing the waters and figuring out how best to meet as a team beforehand while dismantling the gap.
2017 - Year in Review
Welcome to 2018! We've hit the road running and have some exciting news below. The last update was on the 13th of December and we have a solid month and a half worth of stories and events.
2017 has been a busy year for New Hope SA. It has been a year where we have tried new initiatives, witnessed significant breakthrough and all along, learned along the way. We are overjoyed by the progress of some of our beneficiaries and are freshly convinced that we are helping to create a community which seeks to uplift and love those around us.
Thanks for sticking it out with us this year. We've had a whole lot of ups and downs but we're learning as we go and hopefully improving on our services to those living on the streets and in shelters.
We've helped 23 people this year in various capacities ranging from shelter placements to rehabilitation placements, job readiness courses to health care etc... A super special thanks to you for all the financial support that allows us to help those move from the street into independence.
Hi everybody! Sorry for the delay in updates - it's been a hectic two months.
Community Dinners: We had a good break in the beginning of September and have continued with some superb dinners over since then. A lot of the guests have made remarks about how each meal seems to be getting better from the last. Join us this Thursday at 6pm at St Peters, Mowbray!
We have some really great exciting news to share as well as some sad news.
We're currently on a break for 2 weeks and will be meeting back on the 7th of September, 6pm at St Peters.
The Snapscan initiative is going well. John has successfully raised funds for one month shelter fees and is scheduled to move into the Haven Shelter as soon as he’s available. Martin has found alternative accommodation and thus exited the snapscan programme - We were able to supply him with R590 worth of Broccoli Project Vouchers so he can buy food and blankets.