New homeless vouchers available

2019-03-26 06:01
What the U-Turn voucher looks like.

What the U-Turn voucher looks like.

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With the enormous demand of Kenilworth-based U-turn non-profit organisation’s vouchers, the organisation is now introducing a new plan.

The plan is aimed to accommodate the huge demand, making sure more homeless people benefit from it.

It is introduced in line with celebrating 10 years since the vouchers were introduced in 2009, sold at R40 for a pack of five vouchers. As compared to the 1 300 touch points they were delivering in the beginning, last year they reportedly delivered 14 000 touch points.

According to Rowen Ravera, the resource development officer, for 10 years, the price of vouchers has remained unchanged.

However, particularly given “the financial crisis last year”, they needed to make changes to ensure their programmes remain sustainable.

“The price of a pack of vouchers is (now) R100 since March. The services will remain as effective as always, and it will not impact on our homeless clients directly – apart from helping us to ultimately serve and assist more people,” Ravera says.

She added that the growth and their survival over the years has been through the positive support of the community they serve.

“The community needs a long-term solution, and they stand behind U-turn by purchasing the U-turn vouchers and giving them to people looking for help on the streets.”

She says they get support from businesses and churches that buy vouchers in bulk to give to their staff and congregations.

“There are individuals who subscribe to vouchers which we post to them monthly. It is only through the regular support that we have managed to grow our services ten-fold,” Ravera says.

As part of improving and assuring growth, U-Turn has planned a business breakfast for Tuesday 9 April where members of the public will be exposed to the work of the organisation.

Ravera says U-Turn is also in the process of finalising its social franchising.

“This will allow us to open U-turn branches in other parts of South Africa that are equally in desperate need of long-term solutions to the increasing poverty rate, unemployment, drug addiction and homelessness.”

They run programmes like the Life Change programme, a work-based skills development and relapse programme.

According to Ravera, the majority of the programme’s graduates remain sober and are employed six months after graduating.

Ravera says U-turn delivers over 1 400 lessons every month to clients on their programme ranging from information technology lessons to parenting and money management.

She is appealing to the public to become skill investors by donating R250 or more a month.

V To become a monthly U-turn voucher subscribers, visit: http://homeless.org.za/gift-of-vouchers.

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