August & September Updates
Over the last two months we have had a number of participants leave our programme and therefore we have had the opportunity to focus more time on our strategic planning for 2020. As a board we decided to not take on any new participants this year, in order to have the capacity to plan well for next year. We have been spending significant time on researching and developing in order to strengthen our current programme. We want to make sure that it is grounded in relevant research and emergent practice. We are very excited for the changes that are to come in the new year and the positive impact that it will have for our future participants.
It’s been two months of big shifts in our society. The light shed on the prevailing violence against women and foreign nationals in our country has confronted our fears, insecurities and sin.
Violence against women and foreign nationals are not just issues of ‘theirs’ but issues of ‘ours’. It is our neighbors, friends, families, colleagues’ and beneficiaries who are experiencing these injustices. It is those whom we love, have meals with and long to encourage who face these realities in their lives.
Being some of the least protected in the city - the homeless community of Cape Town are often worse affected by these acts of violence. We hope to be an organization which consistently and humbly moves toward these injustices and creates pathways of opportunity for the homeless to live lives filled with hope, justice and renewal.
It is in moments like these where Jesus’ sermon on the mount becomes a real promise to hold on to. It’s in moments like these where His words (as they so often do) transcend millennia, kingdoms, ages and cultures.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
There are times, and it feels as if this is one of them, when one so desires the kingdom way which these words are portraying that it needs to become the prayer of our hearts.
Our prayer as an organization is that we would be people who mourn, who are meek, who hunger and thirst for righteousness, who are merciful, who are pure in heart and who are peacemakers. This kingdom way of life is something which we need to move toward if we are to make a dent in helping the homeless community in the ways we are committed to.
The joy of the Gospel and the goodness of our God gives us the grace to be moved from a place of sorrow, conviction and mourning to a place of hope. Hope knowing that He is with us in all things. Hope knowing that he has overcome the power of sin and death. Hope knowing that by the power of the Spirit, we can live lives described in the sermon on the mount. With this hope, we can confront the injustices of violence against women and foreign nationals and be the salt and light of the earth. Our hope is that New Hope SA, our partners, our donors, our volunteers and our beneficiaries would know the goodness of God in these times and would feel encouraged to keep doing all that we can to see justice and hope prevail.
- Devlin Quinn
World Homeless Day
On the 10th of October marks World Homeless Day: an invitation to be human together. Perhaps instead of giving a sandwich to a street person on World Homeless Day, take 2 and together sit down and talk about life. Ask if they would be willing to share some of their experiences of living in your neighbourhood and perhaps you could share some of your experiences. Ask what 'works and what doesn't work' in the homeless sector. Ask what their dreams are and share yours. There are many deep and profound things that happen when we take time to really 'see' each other. Allow a street person to witness your humanity this world homeless day, and seek to witness theirs. We all need to be humanised during these times. Write to us to share your experience.
At the end of July Mary was staying at the Napier Street Haven shelter and attending the Cape Town Drug Counselling Centre (CTDCC) Outpatient Rehabilitation Programme. During the month of August we found out from Napier Street Haven, when we could no longer get hold of Mary, that she had moved out of the shelter at the beginning of August. At the same time we found out from CTDCC that she had not been attending their outpatient programme. Unfortunately we terminated services with Mary officially at the end of August, as she had chosen to return to the street and was not interested in attending an outpatient programme. We were very sad with this outcome as we had seen how far Mary had come and where she had the potential of going. However, we trust that the time she spent in our programme will have a lasting positive impact on her life.
Hlubi was residing at The Hope Exchange, however due to his lack of initiative to change they agreed that he would need to leave at the end of August, unless they began to see him take some initiative. Unfortunately over the month of August, Hlubi did not show any further effort to change, and in fact slept there less and less. By the end of August Hlubi had returned to the streets and was reunited with Mary (above mentioned). Hlubi had been offered numerous opportunities (a casual job, The Zanokhayo network course and others) but he failed to follow through with any of them. We came to the realization that Hlubi was not yet ready for change, and until he was there was nothing more we could do to assist him. This realization saddened us as we therefore had to terminate service with him too. Hlubi and Mary still attend the St Peter’s community dinners and we are pleased that they are still a part of our community. We trust that God will continue working in their lives and hearts and the seeds sown while they were a part of our programme will grow over time.
Daniel has been a part of our programme for over a year. We are so very proud of him and his hard work. He is currently still working at Builders Warehouse, but is looking for alternative work as night shift is taking its toll on him and his relationships. He is also currently looking for independent accommodation as he needs to move out of The Hope Exchange before the end of the year. Daniel is currently feeling like he is not yet ready for the next steps that he is needing to take towards independence. However we are certain that these are necessary at this time and that he will not fall behind again. We have been encouraging Daniel and reminding him that we will continue to support him throughout this process of change.
Roger has been doing some important inner work with himself as part of maintaining his recovery journey. He has tried to explore options of more independent living, and he’s been working hard to find more permanent work in the trade that he is passionate about: carpentry and furniture restoration work. It has been tough going, and it is becoming increasingly clear that the market for these kind of skills has slowed down with the tough economic climate. He is not giving up hope however and he’s got a few potential opportunities on the horizon - he is hungry to work and eager to dig into these. We are supporting him to find some creative solutions to his employment endeavours. We are encouraged by how grounded Roger has been through this whole process.
Walter has been struggling more in recent weeks. Due to a combination of difficult factors, he made the decision to briefly return for a stint at an inpatient rehab facility and to return in time for a medical procedure that has been long awaited. He is eager to explore work options and is working on setting up a plan for himself around the next steps.
Peter is making steady progress. He is eagerly pursuing various options to further his studies and qualifications. There are some exciting study possibilities for him next year and he is working hard to discern which bridging or short courses would be the most helpful and beneficial to help boost his portfolio of evidence. We are delighted to see the level of enthusiasm and commitment in Peter to pursue his dreams. We are proud of him and the time he has taken to also do inner healing work and to keep building a strong internal foundation for what lies ahead.
*Names have been changed for anonymity
The outcry within our country against gender based violence and violence against foreign nationals over the last two months has highlighted the weightiness of the work that we do. We have this beautiful opportunity to listen and hear the voices and stories of those who have been marginalized and silenced. It has re awoken the realization that there is a need to put the voices of the vulnerable at the centre and to create spaces for humanizing. We have a crucial part to play in being the voice for those whose voice has been silenced and advocating for some of the most vulnerable in our city. We feel deeply called by God to love the Homeless in Cape Town in such a way.