Home for Homeless, photo essay by Platon Terentev
[T]o survive the cold autumn, winter and spring Petersburg night, you need to spend it warm and safe. From mid-November to the end of March “Nochlezhka” together with the administrations of the districts of the city set-up several large heated tents, where everyone in need can get a safe and warm night’s lodging, a hot breakfast and medical assistance (a medical attendant visits the tent twice a week).
Heating point «Nochlezhka» works in the mode: every day from 20:00 to 8:00. This is a heated tent, designed for 50 people. In 2016, at two heating stations “Nochlezhki” for five months of their work (January, February, March, November, December) 717 people found shelter. At each heating station, 25-30 people find shelter every night. The guests of the heating station (2015-2016): 89% – men, 11% – women. Years of birth – from 1938 to 1997. Place of last registration: St. Petersburg – 32% Leningrad region – 13% Citizens of the Russian Federation from other regions – 41% Citizens of other states – 14%.
For get back a homeless man to normal life, he first needs – not die of hunger. A specially equipped minibus travels to remote areas of the city five days a week to distribute hot food to the homeless, needy and temporarily unemployed. Night bus working every weekday evening all year round, at four parking places; for one flight volunteers are fed 150-200 people. In 2016, with varying regularity, 6361 people applied for help to the bus, the organization’s volunteers distributed 37,376 servings of hot dinner.
According to official data, in the streets of St. Petersburg in 2015, 1122 homeless people died (in 2014 the official figure was 1194 people). In the Leningrad region – 823 people (in 2014, 491 people). About half of these people die in the winter. Last winter, except for two tents of “Nochlezhka” in the city were only two places where without unnecessary bureaucracy anyone in need could get shelter: in the Primorsky district – tent of the charitable organization “Maltese help service”, and in Admiralteysky district. In the city there is no system of accessible heating points in every district where you can find accommodation without documents and the last registration in St. Petersburg.
People find themselves on the street for a variety of reasons, which can not be resisted alone. At the heating station, a person does not just get a roof over his head for the night, but learns what can be done to get out of the street.
(by Platon Terentev)