Help for the homeless
“Hello, is everyone alive?” This is the slogan used by a winter relief effort aimed at helping sick homeless people.
Specialized patrols, consisting of officers of the municipal police, employees of Caritas Poland and the members of the Doctors of Hope (Lekarze Nadziei) organisation will visit places where homeless people are allowed to reside, in order to provide them with social help and medical care.
Homelessness is rarely a choice. Sometimes it is the result of many dramatic events, which the victim has no influence on. Homelessness is often associated with shame. People without a roof over their head are often ashamed to go to city shelters or ask for help from specially designated institutions.
Especially in winter, when the temperature drops below zero, many of them seek refuge in empty buildings, allotments or thermal centres. It is estimated that in Warsaw alone the number of such people lies between 500-800.
The problem has been recognised by the employees of Caritas Poland and the Warsaw Municipal Police, which are organising their second joint winter relief effort aimed at helping the homeless.
"Hello, is everyone live?” This will be the greeting used by special patrols visiting spots inhabited by people in need, in order to provide them with social help, food and medicine.
“Our shocking slogan is a line that we use when entering vacant space in search of people. We never know what happened during the night, whether everyone managed to survive. Hence the question,” Janusz Sukiennik, the co-ordinator of the relief effort for Caritas Poland, said at the press conference.
Thanks to the experience of the guards, who know the whereabouts of the homeless, it is easier to reach out to those in need and provide them with the necessary support in the form of warm clothing, blankets and food.
This year, Doctors of Hope joined the initiative. The organization will seek to carry out necessary medical treatment on the spot as well as provide psychological help.
At the same time, an online fundraising effort has been organized on www.pomagam.caritas.pl - the proceeds from which will go towards buying clothes, blankets, sanitary equipment and food. The donations will be handed out to the needy within the Warsaw area.
Before Christmas, a priest providing sacramental ministry and Christmas wafer will accompany special patrols frequenting homeless people living in the rough.
Source: Gazeta Polska Codziennie