thank you for for staying with us and for your support! Hopefully 2015 year will turn to be peaceful and happy year for all of us. Here is a winter report from Nochlezhka, a charity organization helping homeless people in Russia.
In addition to helping homeless people who ended up on the street, Nochlezhka is helping people who are at risk of that: those who do not have permanent residence, registration, documents. At least a quarter of people contacting our social workers for help spend the night in residential spaces: they rent places or stay with relatives or friends.
Helping at risk people, preventing them from experiencing life of the street is, perhaps, even harder, and there are many people in need of this kind of help.
In this report we will tell the story of Alexander. Unfortunately, such stories are very common in the experience of the social worker in the consulting service of Nochlezhka.
The social service of Nochlezhka works 5 days/week. In 2014 social workers and lawyers gave 2910 consultations.
The story of Alexander
Alexander, who was born and lived his whole life in the village of Ul'yanovka in Leningrad region, is a great example of someone from poverty-stricken Russian province.
Alexander was born in 1961. Through life circumstances and property exchanges, he is now living in a studio located in a wooden house with stove heating, where one needs to bring buckets of water from the stand-pipe and buy cooking gas in portable tanks.
Alexander's mother died in the early 2000. He was the one taking care of her, taking time off work and moving to smaller living spaces to support the family. Now he does not have any family left. Last year he adopted two stray dogs, Kama and Kevka, whom he cares for deeply.
Alexander is a specialist in mounting cables. He has a lot of experience and kept his work records.
Several years ago Alexander was injured on the job. He lost one of his thumbs. His spine was injured as well, and he started suffering from ringing in his ears. Because of that he cannot get medical clearance for work and find more stable employment. Lately, he picked up jobs manual jobs, and sometimes he collects scrap metal to buy food.
Alexander contacted the consulting service of Nochlezhka in the winter of 2014, asking for help in finding a job. However, as it turned out his situation required a lot more work than simply assisting with employment. We looked through a large number of job ads that did not ask for specific qualifications, Alexander got interviews in some of the companies, and was selected for an internship in one of them. However, these efforts did not result in a job offer, most likely because of the the absence of registration.
Failures have a strong influence on his emotional state. He stops believing in himself and does not think that he will ever find work.
Many employers find plausible excuses not to hire a man without registration, who is nearing retirement and has several chronic diseases. Alexander does not have permanent income, except for payments from the Fund of Social Insurance for partial loss of ability to work. However, these payments are not enough to cover overdue payments for utilities. The electrical company has not cut off the electricity yet, but the debt is growing larger.
Alexander recently informed us that he has not been getting the payment from the Fund. The bank is taking this money to cover the credit he took out several years ago, even though this practice is illegal.
Alexander lives in a fairly remote place. It takes approximately 50 minutes to get there from the railway station. The fare for a roundtrip ticket is 150 roubles, which is quite a lot for someone with no consistent income. Despite all the challenges Alexander keeps his desire to improve his circumstances; he sees the beauty in the world and cares for animals and nature.
We helped Alexander not only with employment, but also provided help with food, clothing, medicines, and helping to get assistance for dental work and treatment of varicose veins. In November the house where Alexander lives was officially considered a dangerous place to live, and we are now trying to get him enrolled in the government program for getting residence.
Of course, these problems sometimes take years to solve, but even now it is possible to say that without help from Nochlezhka Alexander's difficult life would have been even more difficult.
Results achieved by Nochlezhka consulting service in 2014. Therse are just the nubers, but there are people's life behind them.
Social consultations were given to 2,577 people.
Legal consultations were given to 333 people.
Food sets and sanitary sets were given to 2,361 people.
Clothes were given to 2,374 people.
96 people were employed (including those with accommodation provided). 135 people were helped with having their Russian passports re-issued (including the cases that required going to court).
Assistance with establishing and restoring citizenship – 16 people.
Temporary registration (for 11 months) at Nochlezhka’s address – 35 people.
Assistance in obtaining a mandatory medical insurance policy – 42 people.
Assistance in finding and receiving accommodation (or registering for a waiting list for people in need) – 18 people.
Assistance in applying for a treatment and/or being accepted at a hospital – 96 people.
Assistance in applying for benefits – 31 people.
Assistance in finding relatives – 16 people.
Assistance in returning home in a different city (in collaboration the Maltese Aid Service included) – 72 people.
Assistance in registering as disabled and singing up for a waiting list for a care home (in collaboration the Maltese Aid Service included) – 33 people.
Accepted to a care home for the elderly and disabled – 18 people.
Assistance in obtaining/restoring individual taxpayer’s number, work record book etc. – 21 people.
Legal support – 77 people, including representation at court – 18 people.
Thank you for attention!
You can always help Nochlezhka on our official web site.
In this report we want to tell you some inspiring stories of residents of our Shelter for the homeless. And we are glad to show you an annual report of Nochlezhka as for 2013. This is a profund report about our activity, achivements and finace for the whole year. Many people were involved in its preparation, so I hope you will enjoy it. You can read the report at our web-site.
Here are some inspiring stories from people we helped. These short stories show that from any situation there is a way out. To survive and struggle with difficulties a person needs just a little help. Thank you for supporting Nochlezhka!
Sasha's happy-end story
There was a young man Sasha who came to our Counseling center of Nochlezha lately. He faced the problem of homelessness all of a sudden. The young man peacefully lived common law with a girlfriend and it all began with the help to girlfriends’ father who needed some money. Sasha got the decision to help financially to his nearly father-in-law and he sold his room.
Right after that the relationships between couple changed and Sasha had been kicked out of the house.
Trouble comes in threes so Sasha was fired at the same time. He couldn’t find place to live because his friends probably didn’t realize what a serious situation Sasha got in to. No one offered a room to stay for him.
That is how Sasha came to Nochlezhka after the few days on the street.
With the help of social workers he began reissuing his documents as passport, INN (Taxpayer Identification Number) and SNILS (Insurance Number of Individual Ledger Account). Also he found his distant relatives in Moscow and contact them. Sasha lived in the Shelter a little less than three months and during this time he didn’t only solve his problems. He was actively participating in the life of the organization: helping to repair the Shelter, buying food for residents, once he was a volunteer who accompanied a blind man helping with his affairs in the city.
Soon Sasha left Nochlezhka. He recently came to visit us and told us that he got the registration and found the opportunity to open a carwash. The construction was about to end in a few days!
We are so happy for him. We are so happy that difficulties did not break him down!
Konstantin found a place to live and got a job
Konstantin was born in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine. He lived there until the year 1989 when he came to the decision to emigrate to Russia. So Konstantin canceled his registration in Donetsk Oblast and left Ukraine in search of a job. Getting out of prison he lost all his documents and in the year 2005 he found himself in the street after his wife’s death. The remarkable thing is that Konstantin didn’t give up during these days, he was working as a courier, sometimes as a martial arts or shooting instructor.We met Konstantin when he enquired with Nochlezhka about reissuing his documents. This process is really complicated if there is no professional assistance, especially if we are talking about getting citizenship. For now he is collecting all required documents fast following the instructions of a social worker.We helped Konstantin to find a job with accommodation provided and he is working as a groom in the stables located in Leningrad oblast, Russia. He still needs professional assistance to get back his basic documents to be able to work legally, to earn more and afford to pay rent.
Valeriy got citizenship and found a job
Valeriy moved with his family to Kyrgyzstan in his childhood because of his father’s new job. They had to leave urgently, as did all Russians, driving out of Kyrgyzstan when the USSR collapsed. Valeriy cancelled his registration, left his house and car, and went to the north to earn some money for living. He couldn’t do that even at the gold mines because of inflation - all the money he got was depreciated. Valeriy had temporary registration and a soviet passport. Having no money he came to St. Petersburg where he used to live before. Life on the street led to frostbite in his foot, which he had to have amputated, and he developed an alcohol dependence. Valeriy found himself in the Shelter of Nochlezhka seeking Russian citizenship. To get it will take several years; that is how bureaucratic this procedure is. Valeriy lived in the Shelter for 2 years. Now he finally got all his documents and found a job, he even rented a room in a boarding house. He hands out advertisement flyers and looks forward optimistically to the future.
More information and news you can always find at our web-site! Keep in touch with us through facebook and vk.com.
Dear friends of Nochlezhka,
thank you for your continuous support, without which we could not exist.
On July 16th Global giving will hold another Bonus Day.
On this day each of your donations to Nochlezhka will be increased by 40%. Donate $25 and Nochlezka will receive $35! You can help to larger amount of distressed people.
Bonus Day begins at 9:00 am EDT on July 16th (17:00 July 16th MSK), 2014 and ends at 11:59 pm EDT on July 16th, 2014 (09:00 July 17th MSK)
Please inform your friends and colleagues that every donation to Nochlezhka made during Bonus Day helps us to work more and more effectively.
In June 2014 we achieved such results:
80 people lived in Nochlezhka’s shelter for the homeless.
Social and legal consulting provided to 118 people
Employed (including jobs with accommodation) – 7 people
Assistance in going back home to a different town – 15 people
Assistance in re-issuing of a Russian passport (including the cases that required legal proceedings) provided to 20 people
Assistance in obtaining a medical insurance provided to 2 people
Assistance in searching for and obtaining accommodation (or registering on a waiting list for those in need) - 2 people
Assistance in getting medical treatment or being accepted at a hospital - 13 people
Legal support provided to 11 people, including 1 case in court
Assistance in in obtaining/recovering of individual tax pay number - 5 people
Assistance in arranging documents of temporary registration - 3 people
Assistance in finding relatives - 3 person
Food and personal hygiene packages were given out to 172 people
Clothes given out to 179 people.
The Night Bus volunteers distributed 2553 portions of hot food. 415 people received help.
We would like to inform you that next Bonus Day will take place on May 7, 2014. Bonus Day is a great opportunity for our organization to earn matching funds!
Matching will begin on Wednesday, May 7 at 9:00 AM EDT and will end on Wednesday, May 7 at 11:59 PM EDT. Matching is applied at 30% up to $1,000 per donor per project.
Please inform your friends and colleagues that every donation to Nochlezhka made during Bonus Day helps us to work more and more effective.
In April 2014 we achieved such results:
Social and legal consulting provided to 121 people
17 employed (including those with accommodation provided)
Assistance in going back home to a different town 17
Assistance in re-issuing of a Russian passport (including the cases that required legal proceedings) provided to 7 people
Assistance in obtaining a medical insurance provided to 4 people
Assistance in searching for and obtaining accommodation (or registering on a waiting list for those in need) 3 people
Assistance in getting medical treatment or being accepted at a hospital 10 people
Legal advice for 14 people
Assistance in re-issuing (or issuing after registering) of individual tax number 1 person
Temporary registration 3 people
Assistance in finding relatives 1 person
Assistance in registering as disabled and registering for the waiting list for a placement at a rest home 1 people
Placed at a rest home 3 people
Food packages given out to 213 people.
Clothing given out to 230 people.
I knew about Nochlezhka but I haven’t been there before. When I visited the organization, I was amazed. When I first found the Nochlezhka's office I saw a shabby old building. But I it was my first impression. Nochlezhka's manager led me inside and showed me everything. I saw dormitory for women and men, a kitchen, a library and a med shed. Also I saw the office where staff was working. I saw homeless people having rest and newcomers that had come for help.
Nochlezhka turned out to be a home for so many people in need that occurred on streets by some reasons. But it is not just a shelter. Nochlezhka provides advocacy actions and juristic support. Help homeless people restore their documents and return their property, find new jobs. Every day staff have visitors. Homeless people know about the shelter, they know they are going to be helped and fed there. Every night Nochlezhka's bus is driven along St.Petersburg streets to feed homeless people. Staff give them brochures about Nochlezhka’s services so a homeless man can decide himself to ask or not to ask for help the organization.
I saw and I understood that Nochlezhka is not just a common shelter for homeless people. This organization help homeless turn their lives back.
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