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World Homelessness Day: Campaign highlights successes of the formerly homeless

The multifaceted campaign titled #ThisIsWorking will publish stories of formerly homeless U-turn graduates who are now employed and living fully independent lives. Picture: Screengrab

The multifaceted campaign titled #ThisIsWorking will publish stories of formerly homeless U-turn graduates who are now employed and living fully independent lives. Picture: Screengrab

Published Oct 11, 2021

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Cape Town - Leading up to the local government elections, and to commemorate World Homelessness Day, non-government organisation U-turn has launched a 21-day campaign.

The multifaceted campaign titled #ThisIsWorking will publish stories of formerly homeless U-turn graduates who are now employed and living fully independent lives, while also advocating for Capetonians to vote responsibly next month.

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U-turn director Jean-Ray Knighton Fitt said the organisation’s decision to commemorate World Homelessness Day by launching the campaign was not only motivated by the significance of the day, but because it allowed them to use their platform to empower Cape Town citizens to vote for candidates whose policies around homelessness aligned with a developmental model.

He said: “As U-turn, we chose to mark the day by launching a 21-day campaign in the lead-up to the local elections. Traditionally, society responds to homelessness with reactive welfare that reduces suffering, but does not change the situation.

“Our focus for the campaign will be on four key areas for development. The first one being sanitation facilities, secondly to respond to homeless people with a developmental approach, not reactive as we see with the by-laws. The third is the need for employment, and the fourth is housing.

“These are the main areas we believe should be addressed when it comes to working with homeless people.

“The campaign will emphasise the importance of shifting to a long-term, responsive development solution. That is what we want to come out in the stories we will be publishing in the lead-up to the elections.

“I’d like to encourage the public to get behind organisations that work to support and uplift the homeless using the rehabilitative approach that leads to the development of homeless individuals.”

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#ThisIsWorking launched with the stories of Ricky and Avon, two formerly homeless people, who are now employed and fully functional members of society.

Avon and Ricky's stories, as well as other stories, can be found at homeless.org.za/worldhomelessday

[email protected]

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