"We support this initiative to build a permanent, modern facility to care for the homeless professionally and with dignity.''
I was very pleased to be asked to be patron of the Hermanus Night Shelter project. The project is very important for this community. It is about helping people who are going through really tough times. The goal is to ensure that there is a safety net for those who have hit rock bottom and have nowhere else to go - who have no one to turn to.
People can be homeless for all sorts of reasons. It may be the result of making some poor decisions. So often though it is down to just bad luck. Perhaps as a result of sickness or job loss or a family situation. Bad things happening at the wrong time.
All of us can be hit by adversity at any time. I know this from personal experience, as someone who has been homeless myself.
But I was lucky in many ways because there was a safety net for me when I was homeless in the UK. I was able to find refuge for a short time and sort my life out. I had somewhere safe to stay with my family - it meant that I could spend time getting my situation under control. Life for me got better because someone was there to help when times were pretty desperate.
So today, personally and as an organisation, we support this initiative to help in providing a safety net for the Hermanus community. To give a second chance to someone who has fallen on hard times - or maybe has never had any good times.
The goal is to provide a refuge, so that the beneficiaries can then start to get their lives back together. The initiative goes beyond the night shelter too - because the building that will be created will be used for all kinds of support to help people get into work and get their lives on track.