Every community needs a homeless shelter so that people can be rehabilitated and reunited with family; Graham Wells, in running 90km barefoot to raise funds for a shelter in his community.
Pietermaritzburg, South Africa (09 June 2021) – The need for more homeless shelters is felt across South Africa. However, come winter or a global pandemic, it becomes evident that there are not enough beds for people who need them. Graham Wells hopes to help in building a new homeless shelter in Pietermaritzburg.
To do this, Wells, age 44, from Pelham in Pietermaritzburg, will take on his 7th Comrades Marathon, barefoot! He plans to run from Mooi River to Town Hill, running 90km to mark what he would have done for the Comrades Marathon. But, instead, he is taking the race virtual to support the plight of the growing homeless population in Pietermaritzburg.
“I’m a firm believer that running medals don’t mean anything unless you have made a difference for someone else” – says Graham
Partnering with One Life Foundation, Graham has launched a crowdfunding campaign on BackaBuddy called “Run for a roof” to raise R250 000 towards the estimated R1 million needed to fund a much needed homeless shelter in the area. The One Life Foundation is a not-for-profit company that promotes social justice and community upliftment.
“Whilst out training in the freezing cold mornings, I am always struck by the number of homeless in our city. As we complain about the weather getting colder, imagine what it must get like living on the street, in a park or on a field. These are normal people, like you and I, and for whatever reason, have found themselves in a difficult situation and, consequently, homeless.” – says Graham
Since the launch of his campaign, Graham has raised over R25 000. Funds raised will cover the cost to build the housing structure and provide the homeless with the appropriate rehabilitation services to re-build their own lives.
Having worked in social housing in the United Kingdom, helping the homeless has always been close to Graham’s heart.
“I have a dream to see a safe, friendly, people-centred shelter in Pietermaritzburg, where people of any race or background can be welcomed and empowered to make something better of themselves. By coming together to fund this project, we have an opportunity to change the face of homelessness in our City and restore dignity to those society has left behind. Everyone deserves kindness and a second chance,” – says Graham
Support Graham’s campaign by donating here.