To powder and return to the bench or to give a homeless guy a house

On 10 October, the international day of a homeless man, in Public chamber of the Russian Federation held a round table “the Role of NGOs in solving problems of homelessness in Russia”. Current problems and suggestions shared by the representatives of different spheres: doctors, legislators, researchers, philanthropists and former homeless people. Opening the event, Chairman of the Commission for the development of the nonprofit sector and the support for socially oriented NPOs Elena Topoleva-Soldunova said that the audience are faced with the problem of homelessness on a daily basis, and could face even on the day of the meeting, at the entrance to the Public chamber, where the fence met a few homeless people waiting for some solutions despite the fact that the round table that had been more deliberative. “Pravmir” listened and chose the most interesting theses.


  • Help the homeless as possible in the diocese and in the parish – of the Synodal Department for charity
  • The Church has established a prize for helping the homeless
  • There is a new directory “help the homeless”
  • Two priests in the United States is threatened with imprisonment for helping the homeless

Anna Ipatova, senior researcher, Institute for social analysis and forecasting Ranhigs:

Anna Ipatova. Photo:

The problem is that these people are outside official statistics. No systematic study of the homeless, we don’t know how many of them is on the street, we don’t know who to call homeless because we have no common terminology, even within one institution, which deals with this problem.

When a little knowledge, there is a field for stereotypes. And since people don’t know who are homeless, it’s leading way – street homeless. This man is older, he drinks, unpleasant smells. It develops disgust. Where there are stereotypes, there are speculation, then we’re going to stigmatization. And where there is stigma, there is discrimination. “These people are powerless”, “you can do your bums at home, if you are so fond of them”, “it’s all to do, but not where my children grow up”. This is the problem that we face every day in research, with whom we talked. All this gives rise to the attitude towards homeless people as lawbreakers and criminals, not as people who are in trouble, in the sense that they are to blame themselves were the wrong way of life.

Need to get rid of the feeling of invincibility and the idea that if you lead a good life, you are in no danger. We need to show that almost anyone can be on the street. You need to remove the anonymity, the image of the tribe. It’s all very different personality with their own stories. Remove the negative image from media, to remove unpleasant smelling words like the word “bum”.

Yevhen Bobrov, the Deputy Chairman of the Board at Prezidenta of the Russian Federation on development of civil society and human rights:

Evgeny Bobrov. Photo:

The problem of homelessness rests on the legal status of the person and is primarily related to the lack of documents. There are three statuses: a foreigner, a stateless person and a citizen of Russia. If the foreigner has at least some document proving the identity, the Embassy can give him a certificate of return to their state. If the person without citizenship, until recently, neither the deputies, nor the President’s administration, this problem did not care. Now, after several communications with the President this tough assignment this bill to develop. Expected to document the identity of persons without citizenship of all those who have not confirmed citizenship and have a certificate of non-citizenship from the Embassy of the country of the last nationality. In addition, the proposed simplified procedure to grant Russian citizenship to those who five years, not ten as originally wanted the interior Ministry, but actually live in Russia.

As for the Russians, there are problems. Registration is a good thing, but not to the extent in which it is implemented in the legislation. We proposed to simplify the registration of Russians to the procedure for registration of foreign citizens, as paradoxical as it sounds. Since we now have a whole category of citizens of the Russian Federation does not meet the requirements of their registration, then you need to do this: if someone has no premises, then you have to register on the employer, as well as foreigners; if a person has no home or employer, then it needs to be registered at the territorial Department of the migration service or the local administration. These requirements are fully agreed that all agencies who need to know where people live: the courts and the penitentiary service and the Prosecutor’s office. Were against only the Ministry of interior and Ministry of labor. They considered that we make a change to housing legislation, so the administration of the President, these changes are not agreed.

Yulia Danilova, editor in chief Miloserdie:

Julia Danilova. Photo:

We help mostly to nonresident homeless, while the Moscow Government is working in former Muscovites, so our data on the age of the homeless is different. If on the website of the government of Moscow it is possible to read that more than half of the homeless are people older than 60 years, we have people of this age account for only 8% of those we assist. This is mainly labor migration. We analyzed the regions that supply the homeless in the greatest number, it is the large industrial centers of the Saratov, Orenburg, Rostov, Volgograd, Kirov. I think we in Russia still have a rotation of homelessness in the side of those who lost the mortgage. But that is not yet main stream – these are people who need employment.

In Moscow about 20 NGOs working with the issue of homelessness. But the key point is the removal of the person from a situation of homelessness, solved very badly. According to the state system of assistance to the homeless, the volume of homelessness in Moscow – about 15 thousand people. Including all the NGOs and the state system, 15 thousand people there are only 1,700 accommodation. For the removal of the person from a situation of homelessness, not enough seats, temporary shelter, and the only thing that gives the opportunity of NGOs and NGOs are not systematically work with the person. Where a person goes to sleep, having a day services, NGOs, makes it difficult to return to this NGO.

We work with almost all Moscow hospitals order are not discharged to the street so we could pick up and hold the person in a social institution or to return to place of residence. I think it is necessary to enter into the system at the state level, so you can’t write a man on the street. Similar work is underway at stations. This is some entry point, when people fell into homelessness. It is important that he could just seek help until a few nights spent on the street.

Maria Vinokur, a volunteer house for the homeless “Noah”:

Mary Winokur. Photo:

You have a lot to say about how to change the way homeless. This means that in order to help the people homeless, we need to tell which homeless people are cool. Here is a musician, Professor, PhD, Director, and let them all love. But at some point I realized that it was ignorance on our part. Homeless people are different and don’t need to change the way they are what they are. Someone has one class of education, someone who has an alcohol addiction, someone killed a man and spent time in prison for this and, perhaps, on the basis of their principles, we are not obliged to love them. We decide to help or not, through his inner court. At first, we decide whether we like or not, whether he’s sick, poor, homeless.

We don’t need to change the way. We need to explain to people that every person, if he is in a difficult situation, regardless of his medals, insignia and sin, you need to help.

Andrew, a former homeless man, an employee of the House of diligence “Noah”:

I have the feeling that you are going to Pat themselves. Who are we talking about? That romantic image that you have drawn, the reality has nothing to do. Man must first pull off the street. If you are going to do landscaped streets, you will increase the number of people who will be living on the street. In these centres, I am a single man, for which you are going, call him a bum, I have not seen.

– Do not call! turning to Andrew, the participants of the round table.

We agree, good. Let’s call them people of the street. So these centres are visited by people who need free services: to eat, to drink, to sit on the Internet. Most people who need help, will not go there. They will not come, and it’s really broken people. They need a home, not a comfortable street.

Nicholas, a former homeless man, an employee of the House of diligence “Noah”:

That Andrew, I, we ex-homeless. Yes, the homeless, because the homeless person is without a certain residence, there is wording like that. Day a homeless man we noted that open house after the fire. This house is for moms with children. We will accommodate approximately 70 people.

On the eve of the meeting, I people were asked the question: “What is important to you – makeup for you and send it back to the shop? Or give you a home and a family?” People said that they need a home and a family.

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