SLEEP OUT

WHAT EVOKED THE IDEA: we have hosted two similar events with Pep Stores Director´s outside one of their stores in the centre of Cape Town. The directors kept a store open after hours so that their staff could shop for hygiene products, blankets and bedding. Our shelter team served them soup and bread and helped set them up to sleep out for the night. It was an in house event and private, their hearts were genuine in their efforts to support the shelter and do something good beyond their everyday ability. We loved doing it with them and the evening was extremely memorable, the sense of community and coming together for a greater purpose was the best part. Hence we wanted to extend this opportunity to our local people, as we know they care. TELL US ABOUT THE AIM OR IDEA BEHIND THE EVENT The aim is to raise awareness about what we do, who we help and how supporting us makes a significant difference in the lives of the homeless, it is a responsibly way of giving. The idea of for those who moved by the needs of those who are homeless and interrupt our lives daily by begging and pleading for help, to be able to do something about it other than just handing cash out at traffic lights. During the month of May we are collecting blankets and hygiene products plus selling vouchers which offer a nights accommodation and all the services and individual would need to access, then all of this will come together with a final big event which is our Sleep Out on Friday night the 26th of May. For R200 you will receive a street sleeper bag, soup and bread, Sleep the night out and then in the morning each person will give back the bag to the shelter team so that we can help those who are not wanting accommodation at the shelter during winter, due to their own limitations, choices, reasons. Our shelter is generally a ‘dry’ shelter, in other words we accommodate those who are not abusing substances, however we do include those who are trying to change and assist them in doing so. As a shelter team we need to find ways to connect those that support us with those that need our services, there is such a big difference between the two groups of people, however when they come closer together and connect we realise that there is in fact not much that separates one human from the next and that’s when the magic of helping others hits home, it ends up being a blessing to the giver as well as to the receiver, we want to share this gift. WHY THIS EVENT IS IMPORTANT TO PERSUE: Our shelter is in urgent need of support, our budget far exceeds our income. We don’t want to merely survive, any limit in our resources and finances effects the level of care we are able to extend to those who we serve, the downtrodden, the less fortunate, the desperate, homeless, sons and daughters who are now lost and need a home, be it a temporary one, a place to get them back to living again. By supporting this event, you are buying into what we do, you are making a big difference, you are giving responsibly by giving hope and dignity to the homeless. WHAT EVOKED THE IDEA: we have hosted two similar events with Pep Stores Director´s outside one of their stores in the centre of Cape Town. The directors kept a store open after hours so that their staff could shop for hygiene products, blankets and bedding. Our shelter team served them soup and bread and helped set them up to sleep out for the night. It was an in house event and private, their hearts were genuine in their efforts to support the shelter and do something good beyond their everyday ability. We loved doing it with them and the evening was extremely memorable, the sense of community and coming together for a greater purpose was the best part. Hence we wanted to extend this opportunity to our local people, as we know they care. TELL US ABOUT THE AIM OR IDEA BEHIND THE EVENT The aim is to raise awareness about what we do, who we help and how supporting us makes a significant difference in the lives of the homeless, it is a responsibly way of giving. The idea of for those who moved by the needs of those who are homeless and interrupt our lives daily by begging and pleading for help, to be able to do something about it other than just handing cash out at traffic lights. During the month of May we are collecting blankets and hygiene products plus selling vouchers which offer a nights accommodation and all the services and individual would need to access, then all of this will come together with a final big event which is our Sleep Out on Friday night the 26th of May. For R200 you will receive a street sleeper bag, soup and bread, Sleep the night out and then in the morning each person will give back the bag to the shelter team so that we can help those who are not wanting accommodation at the shelter during winter, due to their own limitations, choices, reasons. Our shelter is generally a ‘dry’ shelter, in other words we accommodate those who are not abusing substances, however we do include those who are trying to change and assist them in doing so. As a shelter team we need to find ways to connect those that support us with those that need our services, there is such a big difference between the two groups of people, however when they come closer together and connect we realise that there is in fact not much that separates one human from the next and that’s when the magic of helping others hits home, it ends up being a blessing to the giver as well as to the receiver, we want to share this gift. WHY THIS EVENT IS IMPORTANT TO PERSUE: Our shelter is in urgent need of support, our budget far exceeds our income. We don’t want to merely survive, any limit in our resources and finances effects the level of care we are able to extend to those who we serve, the downtrodden, the less fortunate, the desperate, homeless, sons and daughters who are now lost and need a home, be it a temporary one, a place to get them back to living again. By supporting this event, you are buying into what we do, you are making a big difference, you are giving responsibly by giving hope and dignity to the homeless. WHAT ARE THE EXPECTATIONS: We hoping to host up to 400 on the night. We want this to first of a yearly event in the Helderberg, something that grows and builds Momentum and that is a highlight in the community calendar. WHAT DOES THE NIGHT SHELTER DO IN GENERAL: We provide temporary accommodation, which includes social services, reintegration and rehabilitation. We also have a day centre where we assist vulnerable people with food and care. IF THERE ARE ANY, WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES? We have daily challenges as we are dealing with people, everyone has a story and each persons is unique, it takes great effort and care to come about the best way to help each person. Without our passionate, faithful, loving social workers we would not be able to do what we do. All of our team are truly amazing as most of what we do is exhausting and often heart breaking. Beyond that our biggest challenge as an organisation is fundraising, we need help, anyone interested in helping us? A good start is to please support the Sleep Out. WHAT ARE THE LONG TERM GOALS: We have many, growth in capacity is a constant goal. We are busy reorganising our space and will be able to accommodate an additional 40 people this winter. That’s a 75% increase. Beyond that we have a dream to purchase a bus, which we will renovate to accommodate bunk beds and have a mobile shelter. There are many that are not ready to take the next step from the streets to a building, however during winter they want help from the wet and cold and one of the biggest needs is security. We believe a mobile shelter will help in being more versatile in the services we extend. Then of course additional shelters, smaller and larger versions, plus affordable accommodation for those who are starting our back in society, those leaving the shelter have the biggest challenge of not being able to afford anywhere to stay. We hoping to host up to 400 on the night. We want this to first of a yearly event in the Helderberg, something that grows and builds Momentum and that is a highlight in the community calendar. WHAT DOES THE NIGHT SHELTER DO IN GENERAL: We provide temporary accommodation, which includes social services, reintegration and rehabilitation. We also have a day centre where we assist vulnerable people with food and care. IF THERE ARE ANY, WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES? We have daily challenges as we are dealing with people, everyone has a story and each persons is unique, it takes great effort and care to come about the best way to help each person. Without our passionate, faithful, loving social workers we would not be able to do what we do. All of our team are truly amazing as most of what we do is exhausting and often heart breaking. Beyond that our biggest challenge as an organisation is fundraising, we need help, anyone interested in helping us? A good start is to please support the Sleep Out. WHAT ARE THE LONG TERM GOALS: We have many, growth in capacity is a constant goal. We are busy reorganising our space and will be able to accommodate an additional 40 people this winter. That’s a 75% increase. Beyond that we have a dream to purchase a bus, which we will renovate to accommodate bunk beds and have a mobile shelter. There are many that are not ready to take the next step from the streets to a building, however during winter they want help from the wet and cold and one of the biggest needs is security. We believe a mobile shelter will help in being more versatile in the services we extend. Then of course additional shelters, smaller and larger versions, plus affordable accommodation for those who are starting our back in society, those leaving the shelter have the biggest challenge of not being able to afford anywhere to stay.

AGM

Please do your best to come out for an hour and support us.  We are a community organisation, run by the community for the community.  26 years in the making, still going strong with plenty vision and work ahead

Please do your best to come out for an hour and support us. We are a community organisation, run by the community for the community. 26 years in the making, still going strong with plenty vision and work ahead

OUR 3RD GOLF DAY

A not to be missed event gaining fantastic momentum.  It promises to be a great day with lots of fun whilst enjoying golf together. We have 18 holes and 18 prizes.  Some of the big prizes are a flight for two people and Philwest car for a weekend with petrol. Our trophy is ready to be won.  Some special treats in store.  Prize giving and snacks will be around 7 pm, join in your will get to meet the team and find out more about the shelter. golf day invite 2015

WE WERE ASKED TO RESPOND…

The SW Night Shelter Committee has recently been made aware of concern from individuals in the community regarding our financial statements and specifically the amount proportioned to salaries. A comparison was made between 2011 – 2012 & 2013 financials. Please note that our most recent financials have just been uploaded onto our website: www.swnightshelter.org.za We increased our staff compliment from 3 to 8 over the past 3 years, this has positively transformed our organisation and significantly impacted the community. We secured a grant form the Department of Social Development, it is a transfer payment agreement, which stipulates what the money must be spent on. Our building is owned and the land rented, our rental fee is R5.70 for the whole year. Almost all our food is donated from numerous local stores, one of our biggest supporters being Woolworth’s Waterstone Village. Food & rent need to be taken into consideration as an ‘in kind’ donation. Our salary amount includes wages, which include Skills Development. I would like to encourage those who would like to know more to read the past 4 Chairman’s Reports. This will help you understand the 4 year journey. It has been hard, but worth it. As a committee we are proudly serving the homeless. Please note that none of our committee receive remuneration, all give financially to the organisation. Our fundraiser is not employed, but part of the committee. I am happy to email the REPORTS to anyone who is interested. Send me an email requesting them to: jo@swnightshelter.org.za As the chairperson, I am available to meet anyone from the community who would like to chat further. Our auditors Pyper Turner are also available to discuss the above matter in detail. Currently no one has contacted our office or myself. Our auditors have also not been contacted. Elzanne Van Vyk from Pyper Turner is available for comment, she can be contacted on 021 850 00170. My cell number is 082 0417328, our shelter office number is 021 851 4984. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions, concerns etc.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO MAKE A POT OF SOUP?

Here is an opportunity to get involved and support one of our local hero’s, Vanessa Willis-Schoeman.  We are honoured to have met her and look forward to a long lasting relationship. Vanessa co-ordinates a team who make soup and almost every night she feeds 30 – 40 who are on the streets. She has the social work training and knows how to promote our shelter and the services we offer. We look forward to receiving her application to do her practical internship with us. Enjoy reading her testimony, she is an amazing lady who needs all our support and encouragement. “During her mid-forties, Vanessa Willis-Schoeman decided to leave the corporate world to pursue her childhood passion of working with people in society as a Social Worker. She commenced her BA Social Work degree soon thereafter. Vanessa is a solo parent who currently holds three part time jobs to sustain her family, whilst studying. She is confident to finalise her degree in 2015. She is an avid contributor to the well-being of others, even sharing her own means to make sure that, for instance, homeless people receive regular meals, solo parents are provided with the means to sustain and advance themselves, regularly having an uplifting word often accompanying a plate of food . Vanessa, as a person-centred individual, has deep compassion for people in need. In this, she has been involved with and volunteered at places such as the Anthea Pieters Safe House in Eersterivier, on whose Board she served as an ad-hoc member, conducting trauma counseling at the Somerset West Police Victim Support Centre and assisting in the community to help feed the homeless. Her aim is to continue with this feeding scheme until such a time that this activity can be better coordinated between the various groups having similar aims and goals. In addition, she is currently supporting the aims and goals of the Somerset West Night Shelter, where she will apply to do her practical internship during 2015. Vanessa’s vision is to help individuals within the system to make a difference in their lives and to empower them. As she herself has endured many of her own hardships and struggles, even having to feed her own son, who was living on the streets due to drug abuse and thereafter being incarcerated in Pollsmoor, for a period, she can empathise with people facing adversity, hence her success in applying her own experience in alleviating their plight. This gave credence to her personal motto: “You can only lead where you have been!”. Vanessa   Contact Vanessa by email on: willis.schoeman@gmail.com

HOME

Brandon Brandon Petersen is 42 years old, he lived on the street for 6 months, originally from Macassar. On one of our outreaches we came across Brandon, informed him about the shelter and he was taken in to our assessment centre. He has been living there ever since and has found part time employment at the Builders warehouse. We are still in the process of applying for his ID document, that will ensure him a permanent position at Builders warehouse. Brandon was asked how his experience staying at the shelter has been and he simply answered, ” I can call it home.”

TEAM – simply put ‘together everyone achieves more’

Today we worked with Neighbourhood Watch, Law Enforcement, Metro Police, SAPS, ADT, TSU, Gordons Bay, SecureRite and agents responsible for retrieving shopping trollies.  Our part in this was to represent the compassion the community has towards the genuine bin scratchers trying to make a living out of peoples unwanted goods.  Almost all of the Neighbour Hood Watch team are volunteers.  They are so committed and sacrifice so much of their personal time and finance to put a stop to the escalating crime.  They are all such a great example to so many.  Why is it that so few do so much?  I think it’s a proven theory.  I would rather be part of the few than the many!
HNW
A team from our shelter positioned ourselves at a convenient stop and the various teams redirected the homeless and needy to our van where we were able to offer a warm cup of soup, bread, advice and introduce them personally to the services of the Shelter.  Most of them are just looking for what they can find, that can help them get through the day.  The few that aren’t and are genuinely up to ‘no good’ are sorted out by the Police, fined, items confiscated and warned to not return.  Before when local Law Enforcement has been involved all the items in the trolly weather stolen or foraged or personally belonging to the individual has been confiscated.  The big difference this time was that if it was general recyclable/sellable waste, food and their personal items of clothing etc, they were given a bag to place their items in and to be able to carry their goods away.
Everyone deserves dignity and respect.  
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
We have a great need for smaller size clothing.  The Night Shelter has a wonderful ‘clothing store’ large wendy house (sponsored by the Bay Church – THANK YOU) set up by Paddy Judd and Volunteers, maintained by the staff and frequented by our daily and nightly clientele.  However, most of our donations come from homes in the Helderberg where people ‘eat well’ are are of a larger ‘waist size’, YES this is a generalisation, sorry for that, we know we also have a lot of fitness freaks with beautiful lean bodies.  Many of the bin scratchers are young, skinny and need sizes 28 – 34 (men), 10 – 34 (women).  We are appealling to High School boys & girls, the gym freaks and those blessed with great sized bodies. Please also spread the word, amongst your office, remind your family, tell your friends, social groups, share on Facebook, as we want to encourage the homeless and needy to come to the shelter so that we CAN help them.
pants
Most don’t know they can get help at the shelter, the rest which are just a few have a ‘false testament’ of what the shelter is and offers or they make reference to 7 or 8 years ago when various other couples were living on site as Supervisors and the shelter wasn’t run the way is should have been.  The person then can’t argue when we enlighten them of the change, we embrace them with love and encouragement, sharing HOPE.  
We have plenty food, blankets and always a hot shower available.  Also toiletry packs etc. Thanks to recent donations.  Please keep it coming.
Our TEAM are working incredibly hard.  So much so that I do feel bad the way I push them, but they always end up smiling as they have the right heart for the job, next week we will hire another container and add another 6 beds to our 60. We have a Team of just 8 staff (2 only appointed in the last month) who manage 60 people staying on a nightly basis, many being assisted during the day and many more who come for assistance during the day.  Plus the rotation of the coming in and going out (back home, moving into their own place, better situation, place of care etc) keeps on increasing.  So the monthly amount of people being helped by our team adds up to over a couple hundred a month. Over the last 3 weeks, the shelter has been doing a night outreach once a week on a Tuesday night, Strand, Gordon’s Bay and Somerset West.  The is the start of our WINTER OUTREACH PROGRAMME. The more we do this the more the understanding amongst the homeless changes.
As neighbours and community members we need to just keep on repeating and reminding people to GIVE RESPONSIBLY.  Thank You City of Cape Town for ‘coining’ this phrase so perfectly!
Rather support the shelter, which has the staff and does the work directly one on one, then just hand out money to the man/now many woman at the traffic lights, not to mention the blind, crippled (really or just a mockery of being crippled?!) and babies.  I work with a few of these beggars on a regular basis and they can honestly say that most of the money they get goes on drugs as it is so easy to stand there and just receive.
Thank You for all the new Facebook LIKES on our page, we have introduced the team and have regular ‘good news’ updates. Take a look, LIKE and keep updated.  http://www.facebook.com/Somersetwestnightshelter
Jo Swart
Chairperson

JUST OVER R20 000 RAISED

We had great fun on our Golf Day, the fund-raising portion is sitting at just over R20 000.  What we need to remember is that each person played at a reasonable fee of R265, they had great drinks & snacks on the course, received a goody bag with treats, attended a prize giving with delicious platters and everyone stood the chance to win the wonderful spot prizes, many did. So if you take the 50 odd players who played and you add up the worth of the whole Golf Day, figures can easily top R50 000.  Not bad for only our second year running.  For next year we would like to host the event on a bigger course, we would also like greater support, double the players will be the goal.  We are busy trying to secure Strand or Somerset West Golf Course, possibly Erinvale.  If you have any friends and are able to assist us, please do. In the meantime we are auctioning off a few of our extra items on Facebook, like two beautiful bottles of red wine from Beyerskoof, Magnums with limited addition sports stickers.  We are hoping they will get the price they deserve.  All these funds are going towards the simple burden of keeping the Shelter open and available to the homeless.  On average we accommodate people for free or as little as R5 – R10 per a night.  In reality it costs us R50 per a person per a night, to feed, clothe and cater for their social and emotional needs.  We have a great vision and are trying to expand into that by starting the Assessment Centre, which can accommodate an additional 6 people at any given time.  We are hoping that soon we will increase this to 12.  There is a massive need for us to do more than we do, to push forward, fundraising is key to this.  Most of these funds will go to operational costs, but part of them will go towards establishing this assessment centre.  Because even though we believe our hands of full and we are pushed to the limit with our normal 54 full beds, there is always more we can do.  There are always more people who need us.  Generally the public can’t help due to busyness, lack the skills, provision and expertise.  Whereas our team are familiar with most of the regular faces of begging and homelessness in Somerset West. The team know when the pleas is genuine and an actual plea for help, a ‘help me as I help myself’ kind of help. Everyday the shelter Team face disappointments and frustration in dealing with those who cannot help but continue in a never ending downward cycle.  BUT what keeps hope alive are those individuals whose hearts desire is to change, to seek help, to lift themselves up out of their situation with the support of the Team.  They respond well to chores, they take ahold of opportunity, they embrace the support structure the shelter has set up around them, these are the people that make it all worth while. Thank You for believing in who we are and what we do.  We need your continued support.  Come visit us, phone Paddy and make sure you send others our way, the homeless and ones with homes wanting to help those on the streets who beg for help.  An individual helping a homeless person directly as apposed to our organisation is not always the right answer, it may fix your feeling of compassion for a moment, but as you drive away, they are left with the opportunity to suppress their obvious needs with addictive substances or takeaway meals and other luxuries that the average member of this community only enjoy as a reward for hard earned money.  Rather support the SW Night Shelter and our team of 7.  They have the skill, the compassion and the understanding of what to do and what not to do.

Golf Day Thank You small