Thursday, November 22, 2012

MCM's Homeless Programme is changing lives!

In the last few months, MCM's Full Circle focus area has been involved with an exciting new pilot programme.  To get it started, MCM formed a partnership with The Haven, a Paarl-based night shelter which offers accommodations to the homeless as well as other programmes such as dealing with substance abuse.  The idea was to create an extensive, holistic programme for a select, small team of homeless individuals to see if focused efforts would result in a more permanent change to their lives.  MCM was blessed to find 4 homeless individuals at The Haven who demonstrated a sincere willingness to change their lives and Dorien Kip, MCM's Social Worker, kicked off the programme in June 2012.

Every week, the team has been covering different topics in life skills.  Each morning begins in the classroom, where they study the Bible and receive training in that week's topic.  Some of the topics that have been covered include exploring who they are, discovering how to properly take up responsibility and discussing how to take care of their bodies.  The team is doing very well, and is actually having fun in the process.  In some cases, they are able to get very creative.  In this picture, one of our participants shows how she sees her future...what she wants to reach in life.  

WOW...what a vision!!!
One of the week's life skill classes dealt with 'first impressions.' The participants actually had the opportunity to go out into the streets and interview people about what their impressions were about each one of them.  It actually turned out to be a very encouraging exercise for our participants.

The team has also gone on outreaches into the community.  Each one has had the opportunity to share the love of God while providing practical gifts such as food and sleeping bags to other individuals in need.  Everyone is able to distinguish our team members by the stylish yellow jerseys they wear!

Also, once a week the participants visit Tiffany's Community Care Centre.  There, the team receives computer training from Dorien, and they are progressing in their knowledge of Word and Excel.  They each even have their own e-mail address now!  Look out internet they come! 

Physical exercise is also part of the program. Take a look at the team during a work out in the gym at Tiffany's.  They all enjoy this activity a great deal!

All four participants work in the afternoons.   One of the participants actually oversees one of MCM's feeding programmes while another manages some of MCM's administrative work.  This is a very important part of the programme, and the participants are enjoying it a great deal.

The road to change is long and hard for the homeless.  Jacques Heyns, the Full Circle leader, shared "the people (homeless) in the programme earn just a little money and fight against addictions.  And sometimes it's difficult for them to love each other in each other's weaknesses, but they choose to go on."

We are blessed to be able to provide this ministry to the homeless and we couldn't do it without our capable staff members, Dorien Kip and Jacques Heyns.  Dorien and Jacques...we appreciate you!!!

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