human development, social justice and sustainable social systems

Providing support to the homeless

Thursday, 15 November 2018, marked the beginning of the ‘Trochę ciepła dla bezdomnego’ (A bit of warmth for a homeless person) action. It is a joint action of Caritas Poland and the Warsaw City Guard. By the end of February 2019, twice a week, the street patrols delivered hot soup and bread, blankets, warm clothes, and other necessities to homeless people who need to survive the winter time. The project has been carried out for four years and around 600 homeless people are provided with support every year.

This year’s action was launched at the Caritas homeless shelter in Warsaw.

Over 250 people in need come here every day. We can’t pretend they do not exist. There are homeless people among us.

Rev. Zbigniew Zembrzuski, Director of Caritas Warsaw.

‘Caritas Poland and the Warsaw City Guard teams visit 117 places where homeless people can be found: vacant buildings, dumpsters, back alleys, and even tents and shacks. It needs to be stressed out that the response of passersby is extremely important. We would like to ask you to inform us when you come across a homeless person in a life-threatening situation,’ asked Grzegorz Staniszewski, the head of the Warsaw City Guard. ‘Nobody has frozen up in the places controlled,’ he added.

Warm soup and woollen socks are also distributed among the homeless gathered near the mobile bathhouse. The mobile bathhouse for homeless people is run by Caritas of the Warszawa-Praga Diocese. It is open 12 hours and is visited by around 130 people a day.

Everyone is invited to support this action by transferring funds to the Caritas Poland account or donating by SMS.

Caritas Poland and the Warsaw City Guard run one more project, namely ‘Medical Street Patrol’. It aims to provide ambulatory medical help to the homeless who do not live in shelters. The action is supported by the Doctors of Hope Association. This way, we pursue the message of Pope Francis for the Second World Day of the Poor and look for those who need our help. The support includes: physical exams, medical consultations, help on the spot, referral to a specialist, transfer either to a hospital or a Doctors of Hope clinic, as well as providing motivation and information on how to get out of homelessness.

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Janusz Sukiennik

Social Projects Specialist
Caritas Poland

faith and action