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The “Po Drugie” Foundation celebrates its 12th birthday. She has already helped many young people in the crisis of homelessness

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The “Po Drugie” Foundation has been helping young people for 12 years. Many of them – if not for the support from the organization – would not be able to cope. The foundation runs the so-called training flats, which are the last stop before young people in crisis become independent. For a year, the charges have also been able to use the house, where sixteen people have already found shelter.

– When I was 12, my mother died. There were episodes that I cut myself, I wanted to kill myself. Since the age of fourteen I have been using various substances and when I was eighteen I went to the center for the first time – says Maksymilian, a ward of the “Po Drugie” Foundation. The story of each ward of the foundation is different. – My mother is an alcoholic, my grandmother on my mother’s side is also an alcoholic, my uncle on my mother’s side is a drug addict, my father is a drug addict himself and he also abused me mentally and physically as well as my sister – says Natalia. They have one thing in common – the crisis of homelessness. It happens that in some cases running away from home is the only solution. – I messed up because I wanted to be as far away from home as possible. I went to institutions to feel safer, because I felt safer in institutions, because the Polish state did not want to help me when I was hurt at home – explains one of the foundation’s charges.

Safety in the foundation – which celebrates its 12th anniversary – was given to them by Agnieszka Sikora, the president. – Over these twelve years, we have mainly managed to create such a microsystem, but it is still a microsystem of support for young people who experience homelessness – says Agnieszka Sikora. This support is the help of a psychologist, career counselors and group therapies. – A lot of tears flowed and there was a lot of support between us, there were a lot of emotions, and it was really great – admits Natalia. Dozens of young people in the crisis of homelessness found what they needed most – a roof over their heads. – I have therapists, which is of great value to me, I have somewhere to talk and I feel safe, I also have people who support me very much – Maksymilian enumerates.

A lot of support

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The foundation runs the so-called training flats, which are the last stop before young people in crisis become independent. For a year, the charges have also been able to use the house, where sixteen people have already found shelter. – I can say it both with horror and with sadness, about 300 young people come to us every year. This has been the case for several years, adds Agnieszka Sikora. According to the data of the Ministry of Family and Social Policy from 2019, over thirty thousand people in Poland are struggling with the homelessness crisis, nearly eight hundred of them are people aged eighteen to twenty-five. – It always touches my heart the most when young people are thrown out of their family home – argues Beata Antos, coordinator of the “Po Drugie” Foundation.

Drugs, alcohol, violence, and more and more often also mental problems – these are the most common problems people who find themselves in the crisis of homelessness have to deal with. – But we also have young people who do not have these problems, but do not have this house, because, for example, they are LGBT people – adds Agnieszka Sikora. The support is also used by those who were brought up in orphanages, foster families or social rehabilitation facilities. When they turn eighteen, they simply have nowhere to go.

On the occasion of the twelve years of operation, the “Po Drugie” Foundation is running a fundraiser to be able to provide more people in need with a home and support.

Main photo source: Facts after noon TVN24



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