Homelessness is increasing. Long term rehabilitation is needed for a pathway to employment.
U-turn was born, one day in 1997, after Colleen Lewis – a local resident of the Southern Suburbs – had been on a discipleship course. She decided to talk with two gentleman who were pushing trolleys down her street on bin collection day to find out their needs and pray with them.
Over the next two decades Colleen’s step toward practical ministry has grown into a fully-fledged organisation to turn lives around. Working alongside Occupational Therapist and Biblical Counsellors, U-turn crafted a pathway out of homelessness that:
- starts with basic needs (food and clothing) access through U-turn’s vouchers while providing change-readiness and support services.
- From there U-turn prepares and screens for Drug and Alcohol rehabilitation support.
- Once sober, clients can join U-turn’s final phase, the “Life Change” programme. This provides sheltered employment at one of U-turn’s social enterprises and includes an on-the-job learnership, formal training including computer literacy and basic literacy, and ongoing therapy and relapse prevention. It lasts on average 18 to 24 months.
Over 80% of U-turn graduates remaining sober and employed more than six months after graduating. The majority of Life Change champions graduate from the programme with a new or renewed relationship with Christ and a deep knowledge of their important role in the shared body of Christ.
As we face the long road to recovery from Coronavirus, the need is a great. The number of people accessing U-turn’s programme has increased and more people than ever are unemployed and struggling on the streets of our country.
We can’t do it alone.
U-turn and the people we serve are deeply grateful to Christ Church Kenilworth, and its extended family, for all the support and encouragement over the years! Most recently, the donated use of Church House, provides up to 25 “Life Change” champions with access to affordable accommodation in a safe area, outside of the shelter system, while they complete their U-turn programme. (This has also freed up desperately needed beds in the shelters for those just beginning their journey out of homelessness.)
Thank you CCK for all that you do – always giving deep thought to stewardship that goes beyond charity to lifting people up and giving them the opportunity to walk independently again!