14,000 Homeless in Cape Town
You carry the power to change someone’s life in your pocket.
Instead of giving your small change which can fuel addiction and create dependency, give a Mi-change voucher which provides basic needs and a pathway out of homelessness.
Many people tend to respond to homelessness reactively, either by giving cash or with a cup-of-soup-and-a-blanket approach. This creates dependency and chronic homelessness.
Instead, when a person in need redeems your voucher for one of the services offered below, from an accredited Mi-change service provider, they also access support services, rehabilitation, skills development, work opportunities and more.
Your voucher provides these basic needs and a pathway out of homelessness.
Check out the map below for shops to purchase vouchers or shop online using the form below, and we’ll deliver them to your door.
Gift of Vouchers
Purchase Points where the public can buy vouchers.
Churches where vouchers are available to purchase on Sundays.
Homeless Support Centres where people in need can redeem vouchers.
You can purchase your Mi-change vouchers from any of the shops below or use the form above to purchase online to have your vouchers delivered to your door.
If your question is not listed below, please email email@example.com or contact Leila on 021 674-6119.
(We may include your question here to help others.)
How many vouchers are in a pack?
Each pack of Mi-change vouchers contains 4 vouchers and costs R50.
What does a Mi-change voucher provide to someone in need of help?
Mi-change vouchers are designed to promote a culture of accountability and can be redeemed for basic needs like a shower, a bed in a safe space, as well as food and clothing.
The vouchers can be redeemed at any U-turn or MES Service Centre in the City of Cape Town and they offer access to a developmental program providing professional support and rehabilitation services to people living on the streets.
Please have a look at the map for voucher redemption points close to you.
Most importantly, a Mi-change voucher is the start of a journey and a ticket to a pathway out of homelessness.
Thank you for giving responsibly!
Where can a Mi-change voucher be redeemed?
Mi-change vouchers can be redeemed at any U-turn or MES Service Centre in the City of Cape Town. Both U-turn and MES offer access to a developmental program providing professional support and rehabilitation services to people living on the streets.
Please have a look at the map for voucher redemption points.
What does Responsible Giving mean?
Mi-change vouchers are a kind and responsible way to support people who are looking for help on the streets. They are a good alternative to providing cash which often goes towards fuelling dependency and addiction, and keeps people living on the streets for longer.
Mi-change vouchers offer access to services like a shower, a bed in a safe space as well as food and clothing and puts people in touch with a developmental program providing professional support and rehabilitation services and allows them to start a journey towards employment and independence.
What if the voucher is thrown away?
The funds you paid for Mi-change vouchers go directly to people who are homeless.
Many people who access services do not have a voucher. U-turn and MES need to cover the costs of providing basic needs as well as the cost of the support and rehabilitation services not covered by the cost of the voucher. Your voucher has not gone to waste!
We’d like to re-sell Mi-change vouchers
Thank you for your interest in becoming a Mi-change Voucher Distribution Partner to enable your community to Give Responsibly to people in need on the streets by purchasing vouchers.
Research has shown that over R200 million is spent annually by the public in the City of Cape Town by way of a cup-of-soup-blanket approach handing out money to people living on the streets.
Mi-change vouchers are powered by U-turn and MES to change this mind-set and offers access to basic needs such as food, clothing, a bed in a safe space and a shower.
Mi-change vouchers are a positive, kind and strategic way to help a person in need and remove street solicitation and cash from the streets.
Please contact Leila at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 021 674 6119
What if my voucher is sold on the black market?
Mi-change vouchers are a ticket to support and rehabilitation and provides a pathway out of homelessness.
If a voucher is sold on the street to someone who then redeems it from a U-turn or MES Service Centre, we welcome whoever accesses the services provided and embrace the opportunity to interact with the person who is in need of our services (even if it is not the original recipient of the voucher).
It should be noted however, that since the launch of vouchers in 2009, we have not seen any significant problems with vouchers being resold.
I offered a Mi-change voucher to someone in need and they refused it. What should I do?
Many graduates from our programme started their journey out of homelessness when a kind stranger, like you, gave them a voucher.
The person who refuses a voucher is either looking for cash, which often fuels an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol or they are not familiar with Mi-change vouchers.
The most effective thing you can do is to continue offering the vouchers, gently, with a smile. If you have time, you can explain to the person that you want to help them and that you want them to have a future off the streets.
For this reason, you cannot give them money but are giving them a Mi-change voucher that will give them access to not just food, clothing, a shower and a bed in a safe space, but also access to professional support and rehabilitation services.
Can I track if my vouchers get redeemed?
Mi-change vouchers do not have unique identifying marks or numbers and it’s not currently possible to track vouchers from purchase to redemption.
If, however, you are trying to help an individual who is homeless and you know their name, please feel free to ask them if they are accessing a U-turn or MES Service Centre.
U-turn tracks and records every individual who accesses our services and every service instance is accessible via an electronic database that is updated in real-time.
Vouchers help break the cycle of addiction, to provide a better future for the people we serve.
About Mi-change vouchers
The Mi-change voucher initiative is powered by U-turn in partnership with MES. Both organisations have used vouchers successfully to provide people with a pathway out of homelessness.
Vouchers reduce street solicitation and cash on the streets, which often fuels addiction and dependency. It is the kindest way to put a person in touch with basic needs and professional support services.
Mi-change vouchers are being piloted in Cape Town but will soon be available in Johannesburg and other areas of the country. If you would like to become a Voucher Reseller or Service Provider partner, please email email@example.com
U-turn equips people and communities with skills to overcome homelessness. The organisation is a thought-leader looking for innovative and long-term sustainable solutions to homelessness.
The Christian-based organisation was established 25 years ago, and it pioneered vouchers to assist people in need on the streets of Cape Town over 10 years ago.
Its phased programme is tracked, reputable and an effective pathway out of homelessness. Over 80% of U-turn graduates remain sober and employed.
Thank you for being part of the solution to #GetSouthAfrica working!
Find out more about U-turn at Homeless.org.za
MES (Mould Empower Serve) is a Christian social development organisation that has been changing the heart of the city since 1986 by actively working towards providing sustainable solutions to pervasive poverty in the inner city of Johannesburg, Cape Town, Gqeberha and Kempton Park.
MES facilitates professional services to vulnerable or at risk individuals, families and communities. We follow an integrated approach to ensure the delivery of holistic services that contribute to the restoration and empowerment of each individual.
MES supports the “Give responsibly” campaign and invites individuals, churches, businesses and government to be part of this initiative. For more information on MES visit www.mes.org.za