Winter is the most difficult time for homeless people. Without the help of others, they may not survive the frosts. That is why various actions are being launched and calls for indifference are being made. A dinner for homeless people was held in Wrocław. The SOS bus leaves in Gdańsk after dark. Volunteers not only distribute hot meals there, but also provide medical assistance.
Over 1,300 people were invited to dinner by Jan Piontek – a social activist from Wrocław, president of the Take Pomóz Foundation. – There are more and more people who don’t want money, they just want to eat. They need to eat, they need a smile, they need a helping hand – emphasizes the initiator of the action.
For the needy people who came for dinner, it was a real celebration, because too often they go hungry, and their home is sometimes the street. – There are a lot of homeless people and a party like this, and a charity kitchen, saves people’s lives, because I am homeless myself – says Andrzej. – We don’t know the day or hour when we can go down – adds Mr. Bronisław.
This was supposed to be a foretaste of Christmas for them. The dinner was organized in a place where concerts and cultural events most often take place. No one left empty-handed – everyone got takeaway food.
– There are many people who become homeless not only because of alcohol and other things, but only because they had money to pay rent and were thrown out of their apartment. – Piontek points out. – I say that Jan Piontek is Jurek Owsiak from Wrocław. I admire him and help as much as I can, says Kartikey Johri, honorary consul of India.
Families with children came for dinner, but also single people – like Mrs. Wioleta, who is on a pension due to illness. Previously she worked in a hospital. – I have a low pension and these parcels protect me to survive – says the woman.
With people in the homeless crisis in mind, the SOS bus leaves on the streets of Gdańsk after dark. Volunteers distribute not only warm soup, but also sandwiches prepared on their own initiative by primary school students. Each one has a note attached, handwritten by the children.
Those in need on the bus – in addition to food – receive clothing and medical assistance. – Frostbite and rashes are the main reasons, so they need this help. Emergency departments do not want to admit them because they are uninsured, says Waldemar Rochon, a paramedic.
Calls for reaction
For people in the crisis of homelessness, winter is the most difficult time. A few days of heavy snowfall were enough to cause a shortage of available beds in warming houses, night shelters and shelters.
– Here it was already over the limit, so we have 30 places, and we have 36 people at the moment – says Elżbieta Żukowska-Bubienko, president of the Ku Good Hope Association. – At the end of October, when it was not so cold, all places were occupied. We have opened reserve places, so you can see that the demand for intervention assistance is and is growing – emphasizes Maria Książkiewicz, spokeswoman for Caritas of the Archdiocese of Poznań.
Those who chose a shelter instead of the streets do not want to risk their lives. – Just like at home, everything is there: food, warmth. I am satisfied, says Mr. Marek.
Since November, 8 people have died from hypothermia, and winter is still ahead of us. Therefore, at this time of year, police and municipal guard patrols appear more often than usual in places where people in crisis of homelessness are trying to escape from the frost – If we see anyone at the bus stop, we must definitely approach and ask how we can help if this person is sleeping , then let’s react immediately. We cannot leave a sleeping person anywhere, lying at the bus stop, in the snow – appeals Elżbieta Żukowska-Bubienko.
Employees of social welfare centers appeal for social sensitivity and providing information about people in need in order to help them survive the winter together.
– We provide these people with information on where they can use social assistance services, but we also motivate them to change their life situation and use the facility – says Marcin Żółtowski, a street worker. – Eatery operators say that the most difficult thing is contempt, omission, or indifference – says Maria Książkiewicz, spokeswoman for Caritas of the Archdiocese of Poznań.
Main photo source: TVN24