Emergency assistance to socially excluded

The Results of 2017

1 Mar 18
In 2017 our staff provided medical and psychological help to homeless people and gave out humanitarian aid: clothes, underwear, shoes, toiletries and personal hygiene products. On behalf of those we helped we would like to thank everyone who took part in our 2017 collection events!
We continue to work in collaboration with the Yelizaveta Glinka Center for Social Adaptation (CSA). We work at its 5 departments, as well as at a tent centre for providing free food to homeless people set-up by Moscow City Hall. 
Two of the fund’s medical consultants, Dr Jasur Faiziev and Dr Maxim Novoselov, who were working at the CSA, occasionally accompanied by volunteer Dr Jerome Ebiner, provided medical help 803 times to 212 people last year. As Dr Novoselov says: “The most time consuming, but at the same time grateful, patients are those who need bandaging. The most expensive from a financial point of view are patients with lung trouble, for whom we have to buy expensive inhalant products. The most complicated are cardiology patients because in most of these cases they are badly diagnosed. A lack of diagnosis in general is characteristic of the homeless population. For instance, a patient was diagnosed as diabetic for the first time in his life at one of my recent consultations. Most of our chronic patients have poor treatment records, good records are an exception.”         
Last year at the tent centre for providing free food to homeless people near Yaroslavsky Train Station, medical consultations and basic medical procedures were provided by Dr Boris Voinov 1,916 times (88 ‘outreaches’ were made during the year) and homeless people were given medication 1,549 times. A total of 800 people, including 1 pregnant woman, received medical help. Dr Voinov says that if the cases are too difficult to be solved on the street, he refers them to local hospitals, where help for the homeless people is free. He used to call an ambulance, but from 2017 this function has been taken over by the Social Patrol mobile team, which assists homeless people at the tent centre.      
SAMUSocial Moskva psychologist Maria Shabalkina, who works at the CSA with people who come for one night, conducted 125 individual consultations in 2017. Since September 2017, at the female and male wings of the CSA she has organized five meetings of a Literary Club where homeless people, together with a psychologist, read classic literature and analyze the main characters and their motivation. This helps them to better understand themselves and their lives. Maria, a clinical psychiatrist, says that the behavioural and psychological problems associated with severe alcohol addiction are the most common pathologies in the homeless population. Other kinds of personality disorders found include: emotional problems, dependency and latent to psychotic schizophrenia.
Irina Bludova, another psychologist, works with homeless people to help them with social rehabilitation at the Yasenevo and Vostryakovo departments of the CSA. She has conducted 244 individual consultations with homeless people. In addition, for 3 years, she has organized art-therapy sessions, and in 2017 there were 35 such sessions. Art therapy aims to help homeless people to develop communication skills, express their emotions, relax and practice their motor skills. Irina could only organize such therapeutic group work at the Yasenevo department of the CSA, where women are being rehabilitated. The Vostryakovo department deals with male ex-prisoners. These people have their own hierarchy, based on the criminal offense that they have committed. And this often doesn’t allow them work in a group: for example, an ex-thief would not sit at the same table as a sex offender.  
In 2017, we started helping HIV positive homeless people: assisting them to get access to treatment, providing consultations on living with their diagnosis and treatment plans and psycho-social follow-up. This part of our work will be actively developed in 2018.