Working together to help the homeless

Clothing dropped off at U-Turn’s Service Centre in Claremont can be “bought” by the homeless using a voucher system.

Ladles of Love has taken a weight off the shoulders of U-Turn’s Service Centre in Claremont through a weekly donation of food that is helping to feed up to 60 people a day.

Ladles of Love has been working with the centre, also known as the Powerhouse Kitchen, for four years.

U-Turn chief operating officer Jon Hopkins said: “It’s been such a tremendous help, getting food from Ladles of Love so consistently. And when the lockdown happened, we suddenly had to feed over 100 people a day whereas before we were feeding 40-50 people per day.”

Food was the entry point for the other help U-Turn gave the homeless, including getting them into a shelter and helping them find work, he said.

“Ladles of Love providing the ingredients for the meals allows our organisation to put more money into the support and rehab staff,” said Mr Hopkins.

Hilton Adams, who was in prison before joining U-Turn, helps run a rehab programme for homeless people approaching the organisation for help.

U-Turn uses vouchers – bought by the public – that grant a homeless person access to the organisation’s activities and resources.

Mr Hopkins said: “We found that a homeless person would usually walk within a 4km circumference out of Claremont, and these vouchers are then passed on through handouts. Fifty to 60 people are currently walking through the U-Turn doors on a daily basis to get food.”

Ladles of Love founder Danny Diliberto said: “We supply the kitchen with a bulk of nutrients including carrots, potatoes, butternut, onions, maize meal and rice. 150kg are provided per week to the organisation. We find the funds to get the food and then we provide them to the relevant organisations.”

He added: “It’s a beautiful collaboration, as we focus on getting food and they focus on rehabilitation of the homeless people.”

Claremont U-Turn Service Centre manager Tamzin Adriaans said they helped the homeless get back into society through three phases. The first sees the homeless help out at the organisation to earn food or clothing; the second is the rehabilitation programme where the homeless help out with running the services at the organisation; and the third is skills and development programme supported by an occupational therapist.