Russian Church launches programme to assist homeless
Church launches ‘The Way Home’ nationwide homelessness prevention programme
Church social workers and volunteers are on duty at railway stations to provide assistance to people in distress.
According to those behind the programme, many people trapped in difficult situations end up at train stations, having become victims of theft or unscrupulous employers. Church social workers and volunteers are on duty here to find out what they can do to help and contribute to solving the problem.
The programme is already underway in Khabarovsk, Voronezh and Volgograd, and will soon begin in Astrakhan and Kemerovo. A similar homelessness prevention project is being carried out in Moscow under the leadership of the Orthodox relief service Mercy.
In Khabarovsk, church specialists are on duty every day in the railway station at the chapel of St Nikolas. On their very first day they were approached by a disabled man with cancer, who had lost his documents and money. The local Mercy organisation will help him return home to Saratov region.
The Moscow programme of assistance to the homeless Restitution has helped more than 6500 people over two years, whether to find accommodation or relatives, to replace documents, or to buy tickets home.
Church philanthropists also provide homeless shelters, soup kitchens, goods distribution points and relief buses. In addition, they produce a guide which advises people living on the streets where they can eat, wash, get clothes and spend the night.
Author: Olga Vorobeva