Our work at The Pride Shelter has changed the lives of many LGBTI+ people in crisis/trauma for the better. Please read about some of our many success stories below.
James (not his real name)
I lost my job in 2013 as a result of homophobia amongst other reasons. I was living in Pretoria at the time, but am actually from Durban. I was no longer able to pay my way and things were tough. Then, by accident I found out about the Pride Shelter. So I decided to up sticks and come to Cape Town.
When I arrived there, I felt lost and really out of my depth, and didn’t know anyone. So I went to the shelter where Jan and Derick made me feel very welcome and helped me to orientate myself.
I stayed at the shelter for a few weeks in August and September 2013, and while there I was able to secure employment. I then applied to study at UCT and was accepted out of 60 applicants.
I simply have no words to describe my gratitude to the Pride Shelter. It felt like a home away from home, and without it I would never have achieved my goals. You guys are simply the best. Thank you for your far-sighted initiative and for giving me a new lease of life.
I always believe that giving back is a vital part of any healing process, so I am now giving an hour of my time on Sundays to counsel shelter residence. I also donate food to the shelter as often as possible.
Brendon and Andrew (their real names)
Brendon and Andrew stayed at the shelter in October 2013 after they lost their business and home and were disowned by their families due to their getting married. After moving on, they eventually found themselves in Botswana and are now running a 5-star eco bush lodge in the Pandamatenga region of the country – the realisation of their dreams.
They wrote to the shelter in July 2014 to say thank you for the support they received during their stay:
“Thank you, Jan! Thank you, Derick! And indeed, thank you to every single person involved in running and helping the Pride Shelter to survive.
Without your help, love and support, neither of us would have ever been able to imagine achieving what we have achieved since leaving your care, never mind actually see its actual realisation.
We wish both of you all the best. May the shelter bring joy and happiness to many more as it has to us.
Jan, 'Mum' - a special thank you for believing in us when so few others did. You will forever have a huge place in our hearts”.
Phillip (not his real name)
Phillip stayed at the Pride Shelter from late February to early May 2014. During his stay, he sent this heart-felt email to the Board ...
“I'm currently a temporary resident at the shelter. About 3 weeks ago, I found myself alone, scared and stranded in Brackenfell after revealing to my family that I was HIV+.
I had no idea where I would go or what I was going to do. It seemed like I had come to the end of the road. I was comforted solely by the one last option I felt I had – using the hypodermic syringe in my bag to give myself a pulmonary embolism - my exit from this nightmare.
I spent that night sleeping on a grass verge on Old Paarl Road. But before giving up hope completely, I decided the Pride Shelter would be my last port of call.
So I rested before walking all the way there.
Upon arriving at the shelter, I told Matron my story. She immediately made me feel like I was loved, like I was still worth something. I could feel that she was
genuinely concerned. She took me in and I felt safe. I immediately took advantage of the opportunity that had presented itself and worked hard to get back on my feet.
Derick noticed I had arrived there with just the clothes on my back. So without my having to ask or being made to feel embarrassed or ashamed, he took me into the kitchen where I was allowed to choose some items of clothing as well as shoes.
Today, I write this email to you, the Board, as a new man. And I begin work on Monday.
I no longer needed my last option that lay secretly in my bag - my needle that would allow me to escape if and when I had to go. I came forward with this
information to Matron, and together we destroyed it, and at that moment I felt like the world was no longer resting on my shoulders. I respected Matron so much
for that - she understood exactly and didn't frown at me or make me feel any less loved. I was given words of encouragement.
The purpose of my writing this email is twofold. Firstly, thank you for saving my life ...literally and without exaggeration. And secondly, if you ever doubt why
you keep the shelter going, just remember this testimonial, because without the shelter, I can assure you, I wouldn't be around to type it.
With all my sincere thanks and respect”.