How we began
In June 2014, Kerry Hoffman spent a day sharing soup and sandwiches with people living on the street. This relaxed social gathering – and the regular monthly social events that followed for the next five years, helped us understand the complexity of homelessness and the inadequacies of the existing interventions. The early years cemented Souper Troopers in the social capital of the streets with our ethos of dignity, love and respect and taught us that each person on the street had their own story and needed individualised support to move forward.
What we do
Souper Troopers helps homeless people take the steps necessary to make sustainable changes in their lives. Those homeless people who come to us wanting to change their lives are Troopers. We operate The Humanity Hub, a service centre at which we address the holistic needs of a human being, starting with the most basic needs (like clothes, food, toiletries) and working through a full range of services (including counselling, skills training, medical referrals, family mediation, job preparation, creative workshops, micro entrepreneurial opportunities).
During the COVID lockdown that started in March 2020 we marshalled all of our resources and contacts to fundraise for soup kitchens and community feeding schemes across the Western Cape, raising over R1m to support over 150 organisations and individuals feeding the poor in their communities. We are so grateful to the many donors who trusted us to deliver much-needed relief to hundreds of thousands of South Africans left devastated by the lockdown. We continue to support 5 feeding schemes thanks to specific donors who fund these kitchens on an ongoing basis.
How we do it
Our overarching ethos is DIGNITY, LOVE & RESPECT in all that we do. Our psycho-social development model involves our experienced fieldwork team working with each trooper individually using our CAST model: CONNECT | ASSESS | SUPPORT | TRANSFORM.
We have recently received funding to employ 25 troopers who are on their CAST journey, enabling us to work with them daily on their paths to independence. This newly launched Souper Squad project pays each team member a stipend to work on projects for communities and institutions needing help to improve their neighbourhoods and facilities – think gardening, painting, clean ups, makeovers, youth engagement … the possibilities are endless.
Part of the Souper Squad program includes compulsory group workshops, creative outlets like art and music, skills training, and other activities aimed at preparing them for their future working lives. As part of their transformation, these Troopers have an opportunity to step up and improve life for others, uplifting themselves at the same time. They learn skills, gain experience, take personal responsibility, and forge relationships – all crucial aspects of their CAST journey – while building their CVs to ensure future independence.
Where we do it
The Humanity Hub is situated at 66 Newmarket street, Woodstock 7925 and is open to beneficiaries by appointment on Mondays and Thursdays from 8.30–3. This is the address at which we accept donations of clothing, shoes, toiletries, non-perishable food, and any other household items.
We are so grateful to Swindon Property for accommodating us in their premises.
PARTNERS AND SUPPORTERS
We are so proud that these amazing businesses have chosen to partner with and support Souper Troopers, and we encourage you to support these heartful organisations. Find out how you can partner with us.
Boldr – Our new partner Boldr has supported us with a smart TV for workshops, gas stove, pantry items and helping us expand our network.
Capital International Group – The global team at CIG are the perfect example of how a corporate/NPO partnership should work. They donate to us monthly; their Isle of Man CEO provides strategic business input; their marketing team support our campaigns and create their own to publicise our partnership; the staff get involved in our events and collections; they buy our coffee for their office machine; and promote us at every opportunity.
CNC Products – This family food supply business is our raison d’être. Started by Kerry’s grandfather and mother, CNC taught us everything we know about relationships, networking, and going the extra mile with a smile. They continue to support us in so many ways – linking us with their prestigious hotel and restaurant clients, sponsoring prizes, selling our coffee, and promoting us at every opportunity.
Dis-chem Foundation – Since first hearing about us on Kieno Kammies’ Cape Talk show over four years ago, the Foundation has provided us with monthly credit to make sure that our Troopers have toiletries and non-perishable snacks. We are so grateful for their ongoing support that helps our Troopers feel dignified.
Dito – Our partners at Dito have helped us in so many ways. From putting on an amazing Christmas party to facilitating a specialised training academy for our Souper Squad and helping us fundraise, we love working with their energetic team.
Mensch – We are proud to be a member of The Mensch Network, a network of Jewish social changemakers. Mensch support us in so many ways – arranging fundraising events, linking us to like-minded people, promoting us at every opportunity, and hosting training workshops and presentations at which we learn new skills.
Ozow – Our partnership began with financial support towards a loadshedding solution for The Humanity Hub and they continue to look for other ways to support us.
Werksmans – Our pro bono attorneys, Werksmans have supported us in so many ways. This includes legal advice and representation, financial and computer hardware donations, linking us to their vast network, volunteering time to put on a pop-up clothing shop for the Troopers, and standing up for us publicly. We are so grateful to have a firm of their stature on our side.
We are so grateful to these organisations and personalities that have over the years donated products, made spaces available, or shared their talents with us: