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.