Tuesday, 19 July 2016

What's happening with Quentin?

Thanks you for all your responses to this post after a street sleeper wore the placard below. This is a short update on what's happening..

His name is Quinton, not Quentin. Quinton comes from the Cape and is in his late 20s. He has been on the streets since 2009. His credit record is clear and he has no convictions but he is scared of sleeping rough and it is very cold this time of year. The response to help him has been remarkable, and Quinton has responded well too. I have read this update to him and have his permission to send this update. In fact he is very grateful to all those who have assisted him.
Through Ali Gregg at The CEO SleepOut he was introduced to Lucky (an ex street sleeper who now runs Homeless Talk) and has become one of their vendors. Lucky describes Quinton as "respectful" and gave him the thumbs up to take him on with the first 10 newspapers "mahala" (free). They are worth R7 each and new copies cost R3 each.
Quinton was involved in a road accident a few years ago. His attorney who works on contingency before the road accident fund also vouched for him.  
Shelters are extremely difficult to get into, especially if you are above 20 and male. At this time of year they are overcrowded and would not take him. Quentin had a list of over 30 names given to him by The Salvation Army and Girls & Boys Town but they were all full at the time. Eventually, he went from shelter to shelter and finally got into one in Hillbrow late Friday a week ago, and then only for several nights. He then slept rough again and this afternoon secured shelter, after an interview, for three months. Shelters costs between R10- R15 per day.
In yesterday's Hope Talk drive he was given newspapers to sell to raise money. Hope Talk is a special edition Homeless Talk activated as a result of The CEO SleepOut event by Caxton Publishers, and where he is able to sell papers and retain all the proceeds. They are R10 each. Some are also being sold for him in the reception at Adams & Adams to assist him.
Quinton is also helping to wash cars as part of Abreal's enterprise development program after an interview. He will get training and earn something from that. Enough to put a roof over his head and get a blanket in addition to some daily needs. The receptionist at the local gym took pity on him and allowed him to have a shower. He said it was great "to feel like a man". The Steve Biko Foundation have also offered to assist mentor him.
Angela Meuwsen who assists with the creatives on both The CEO SleepOut and Empathy book projects has spent some time with him on his designs especially after the initial quote for 100 long sleeve T shirts came back too expensive. He is adjusting them to reduce the cost of printing which should help him sell them at a more affordable price. He has entered the Adams & Adams pro bono program for clearance searches and a trade mark.
Ultimately he wants to become sustainable through his own creativity.
This is the story of Quinton over the last two weeks. There is still a long way to go but there has been a tremendous outreach to assist him. Ultimately though it will be up to him. He knows that.
Thanks for all the responses.

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