NEW HOPE UPDATES MARCH 2018
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.
Maintaining our characteristic sit-down-dinner approach is very important to us. Understanding the causes of the influx of people will be critical to navigating the road ahead. We’ve increased our efforts to connect dinner guests with accommodation, employment and training opportunities. Our Opportunities Noticeboard has been well-received and is helping people to access services that lead them away from the street.
New Hope Beneficiaries:
Bill has remained at Loaves and Fishes for the last month. He has been seeking out independent accommodation. Bill has found two great leads during the month and he is close to securing one of them. His SASSA grant continues to be his main source of income. Bill has a positive outlook for increasing his independence during the months ahead.
Graham has been attending the Community Dinners for some weeks and built some good relationships there, and in a local church community, as well. He has been staying on the street for about six months, most recently spending nights sleeping in a subway. During the month, we assisted him in gaining a bed in the Wynberg Haven Night Shelter instead. Graham presently works as a wire and bead artist in the Southern Suburbs, having come to South Africa from elsewhere to seek more mainstream employment. We are engaging with him to determine the best way for him to access better work prospects.
Neil continues to be a great asset in connecting New Hope SA with people seeking documentation. We have helped seven people this month in obtaining identity documents with Neil’s assistance. Documents like these help people to participate in society and gain access to other forms of aid. We are seeking to direct Neil’s passion for paperwork to our Community Dinner guests specifically going forward.
Robert remains plugged in with uTurn’s Life Change program. The program teaches vocational and life skills. Participants like Robert typically engage with the program for at least 12 months. The Life Change program has a good track record, and Robert is progressing well. He is staying at Loaves and Fishes in Observatory. This will likely be the last update from our involvement with Robert. He will continue his journey to independence under the care of uTurn.
Chris has been successfully placed on the waiting list for a state-funded bed at the Toevlug Centre in Worcester. The Toevlug Centre offers a detox program and aftercare therapy to drug addicts in the early phases of recovery. We (and he) eagerly await the call up when an opening becomes available.
We continue to track his progress and provide encouragement and advice where we can. Lyle has informed us that he has started an out-patient course through the Cape Town Drug Counselling Centre in Observatory, and is staying at Youth Solutions in District 6. We have helped him get his ID document so that he can seek work and have printed several CV's for him over the last few weeks.
Towards the end of February, Jonathan experienced a relapse. It took some time for this to be uncovered, which has weighed heavily on the Board in the deciding how best to help Jonathan getting back on track. On the suggestion from our friend Riaan at Inner Peace, we have made arrangements for Jonathan with an organization new to us, called Together We Can. TWC is a Christian rehabilitation centre with operations in Eendekuil (situated between Piketberg and Citrusdal) and in Durbanville. Jonathan will remain in Eendekuil for the six months of detox and therapy. Despite the damage done in the relapse event, it seems to be a case of ‘so far, so good’ with the new chapter in his journey.
Rudolph had a similarly difficult month, likewise experiencing a relapse. He has agreed to more stringent drug test regimes and has undertaken counselling through Johan at Inner Peace to approach the relapse head on. After having stayed for a few weeks with family members, we are hoping to move Rudolph shortly to a more structured accommodation facility called Boston House. Rudolph continues to progress well with his welding studies. We are hopeful, and encouraged by Johan’s feedback, that Rudolph will recover from this setback. We are providing any additional guidance we can to try and ensure this.
Following a relapse of his own, Alfred agreed to spend some time regrouping at Inner Peace. He has made good progress while there. Alfred is spending two weeks extra than anticipated there while we seek accommodation for him in Cape Town. We expect him to gain employment in the construction sector soon on his return. We will monitor this closely and make sure that Alfred maintains a safe velocity towards rebuilding his lost progress.
Just this week, John unfortunately walked out of the program at Inner Peace and moved in with a friend in Cape Town. It’s not immediately clear what lead to this falling out after close to three months of therapy. We are monitoring the situation and have found John’s friend to be helpful in this regard. It may be possible for John to find work and remain clean despite the premature break from his therapy program.
Raymond managed a little over a week at Freeway Ministries in Retreat before receiving some unexpected news and immediately walked out of the facility. We recieved information that he is self-sufficient financially and therefore is able to support his own recovery fees in an institution of his choice.
*Names changed for the sake of anonymity and dignity.
Earlier in the month, Richard met with members of the Observatory Improvement District (OBSID) and Breaking Bread Community Development. This proved to be a fruitful and informative time, and we are looking forward to partnering further with organizations in the future.
We'd also love to make you aware of The Haven Night Shelters Community Profile. This is a great resource for finding and identifying all types of service providers in Cape Town and beyond. Anyone with an involvement or an interest in combatting homelessness and related challenges can use this database to connect with other allies in the sector.
I (Richard) was asked by CareCruisers to speak at their event at Alliance Française du Cap on the 14th of March alongside Danny from Ladles of Love and Bijou from El Theos. It was a rich evening filled with many people who were interested in how to help the homeless. You can find my presentation below.
The final highlight from the month was successfully registering New Hope SA as an NPO with the Department of Social Development. As part of our expansion plans, launched in 2017, we are seeking greater formality in our interactions with other partner organizations, the government, and related funding opportunities. Along with this, we hope to be subject to greater transparency and accountability to all of our donors and volunteers. We rely entirely on the voluntary funding we receive. We continue to operate very much on a month-to-month basis.
As we are assured that 2018 is going to be a year of greater impact in the lives of our beneficiaries, we are similarly assured that our funding needs are going to increase. If you care about the plight of the homeless, the addicted, and the vulnerable, we want to call on you to consider making a commitment to regular giving today. Our Board is motivated and equipped to make a difference in the lives of the men and women we assist. We are committed to using every last cent we receive in the service of others, as we help them rebuild their lives and rejoin mainstream society. Click here for details about how you can donate and support our work in the year ahead.
New Hope in the News:
Past & Upcoming New Hope Events:
- 27th March - Rondebosch Boys High School: Sharing New Hope SA’s story.
- 27th March - St Georges Cathedral planning meeting for the reopening of The Arch - winter shelter in the CBD.
- 20th June - Women's Auxiliary Meeting at Pinelands Methodist: Sharing New Hope SA’s story.
- TBC - Living Social Justice Podcast: Sharing New Hope SA’s story. See previous episodes here while we wait for ours to come out.