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Sep 23, 2015

Some lifestories from our beneficiaries


Dear friends,

in this report we want to share with you some lifestories of our beneficiaries in their own words. These people used to live at streets and now they have work and place where to live, they can hope and make plans. These stories shows once again how difficult can be way from the streets back to the ordinary life.

Thank you for the support!

YURI, 50 y.o.

«I was born in Moldova SSR when my mother was on vacation there. Then we came back to Saint Petersburg, it was called Leningrad back then. Before the army I worked in Estonia, I had a third grade in welding and in the army I got the fourth, when I returned from the army I got the fifth and sixth grade in welding and became a valued specialist, I even graduated with honors with a degree in welding.

In the early 90's I had to quit the main job at the plant and started to moonlight here and there. I've learned how to be a stove-maker. I can completely make any stove — large or small. I have a lot of professions, I can do almost everything. One day I moved to Divinskaya village, near Luga, I lived there for four years. I worked for some people there and lived in their house as a caretaker.

But once, when I was sawing a log, a shard of wood hit me in the eye and left me completely blind, I was no longer needed by anyone. I went to the train station myself, took a train and got to the Baltic station, where I found a medical center. Then I was sent to the Eye Center at Liteyny avenue, then moved to the Ozerki hospital but finally they threw me out because, as they said, my medical insurance had expired. I lost my eye because they did not do do the surgery in time. And again I went to the Baltic Station, where Nochlezhka's guys already helped me once. I lived in Nochlezhka's heating point for a month, after that I was taken to Nochlezhka's Counselling Service. At that point, I was completely unable to see. Before that, I had an aunt here in St. Petersburg, she wanted to leave her apartment to me, but in the end in her will she left her apartments to some relatives in Moldova. I was upset that no one needed me. My aunt died — and I am all alone, my other relatives live abroad. I had an elder brother but he had died too».

Yuri spent about a year and a half in Nochlezhka's shelter: during this time he had several eye surgeries, and he was surveyed to an elective surgery of the spine. He was assigned to disability group II, he got the pension and collected all the necessary documents for a home for the elderly. In the autumn of 2014 he moved to Poklonnogorsky home for the elderly and disabled, and he really likes it there. He regularly visits his friends in Nochlezhka.

PAVEL, 38 y.o.

«I became homeless a long time ago. It was 1993 or 1994. My parents were divorced and I lived with my mum. She ran a business. We had two apartments but they were mortgaged, and when she was unable to pay the debt, the apartments passed into the posession of the bank. Since then I have been a tramp. I was only 16 years old. At first we lived in rented apartments. Then I lived with my father for some time, but at that point he already had another family and it was not an option to stay and live there. Then I joined the army. After the army, when I was 21, I lived in a dorm. I went to a factory and became an apprentice turner and got two specialties in lathe and milling machine.

So I worked in the factory and lived my life. But, as it often happens, the alcohol messed my life up. I started losing jobs. And one day I just found myself out on the street. After the army I worked only for two years, perhaps, and since then for almost 14 years I have lived in the street. My mother died in 2001. I haven't heard from my father for one and a half year. I do not know what happened to him, I wrote letters and I tried to call him by the phone but was unable to find him. I am from Bashkiria, and have been in St. Petersburg for three years now.

Now I live soberly, and my life is getting better, somehow it is recovering: now I have documents and I have a job. All the people around think that if a person drinks, it is only their fault. And if you try to look into it deeply, you will find that alcoholism is a disease, and it is transmitted on the genetic level. It is almost unreal to stop drinking if you have a bad heredity. Especially for a man who has no one to support or help him, for a single person».

When Pavel was in Nochlezhka's shelter, he was involved in the «Halfway house» project. During his stay, with the help of our social workers, he obtained the registration, restored his ITN, the certificate of pension insurance and military ID card. Thanks to this, now he has an official job and rents an apartment.

May 26, 2015

Report February-May 2015

A social worker gives our client a donated phone.
A social worker gives our client a donated phone.

Dear friends!

Thank you for the support! We sent out the last Nochlezhka report three months ago, and now we are glad to tell you about our latest accomplishments.

It is important to not let someone end up on the street

An important part of our job in preventing homelessness is providing support to people who are on the edge. The faster we manage to get people off the street, the less immersed they are in the new and difficult existence; the easier it is to bring them back to regular life.

Andrey, a retired military pilot who is now involved in scholarly work and has several patents for his inventions, spent a week in our rehabilitation shelter. He used to rent an apartment, but his documents and money were stolen from there. During his stay at Nochlezhka our social workers helped him prepare the paperwork for a new passport and get a temporary ID. Due to that, Andrey was able to get his bank card reissued, so now he can access his pension and pay for an apartment. Andrey came back to regular life, and it is excellent that he did not end up on the streets, because the line between having a home and being homeless is a thin one.

One story about how we help people

Sometimes the way to help a homeless person is by connecting them to the world they lived in before. One of the current residents of our shelter is a woman who spent more than 10 years working as a props and decorations specialist at the Circus at Fontanka. We told the circus staff about the difficult situation that L.M. was facing and they took it to heart, collecting money to buy her a transportation pass, promising to add money to it, and looking for the possibility of giving employment at the circus to her son.

Now our social worker is collaborating with the circus leadership and HR department in trying to navigate the situation with the queue for getting residence where our client was on one of the first positions during her employment. And of course the support of her colleagues plays an important part in the psychological rehabilitation of L.M.

Four Days a Week

Our shelter at Borovaya Str.112B is still the largest shelter for homeless people in Saint Petersburg and Russia. We can provide shelter to 52 people who find themselves sin a difficult life situation.

Social workers and lawyers at Nochlezhka’s consulting service are open for consulations four days a week. Our specialists meet with approximately 35 people per day. Anyone can come in for a professional consultation, whether they have documents or not.

Since the beginning of the year our social workers provided 1833 consultations, and the lawyers provided 221 legal consultations.

Slava Samonov, Nochlezhka lawer
Slava Samonov, Nochlezhka lawer
Yury, Nochlezhka client, former homeless
Yury, Nochlezhka client, former homeless
Jan 28, 2015

Results achieved by Nochlezhka in 2014

Councelling Service
Councelling Service

Dear friends,

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.


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