The social project “Homeless: My House is Ukraine” held within Zaporizhzhia Book Toloka drew attention to the real causes and consequences of the increasing number of homeless in Ukraine, particularly, in Zaporizhzhia region.
According to the unofficial data, about 5,000 people who do not have their own homes are registered in Zaporizhzhia region. These are former prisoners, adult orphans, people with disabilities, consumptives, persons with AIDS, venereal and other infectious diseases, alcohol and drug addicts, gamers, as well as those ones who were deprived of housing by their families, mortgage borrowers, and others. In, due to lower levels of socio-economic life and military operations in the Eastern Ukraine, the total poverty of population and the number of homeless people (including homeless IDPs) increased several times.
During the event, some painful life stories were presented. Each of them was told by a real person who had got the support from Zaporizhzhia residents, together with a chance for a new life. The volunteers stressed the importance of helping the people without shelter, and the need for urgent development and adoption of the local government programs to reduce the homelessness in Zaporizhzhia region (by creating a network of shelters, heat points, providing legal and medical support, rehabilitation centers, etc.). The event organizers collected questionnaires with signatures and contacts, based on which the further joint steps of volunteers will be developed. The next step for the activists will be a special petition to protect the rights of homeless residents in Ukraine.
The other component of the event was an exhibition about Ukrainian homeless, created by the photographers of Zaporizhzhia Photo Club – Mykhailo Tsytkin and Olexandr Maksymov. The videos were developed by Nikita Shlyakhtunov.
The social project was provided by ZBT project team, NGO Mercy of Zaporizhzhia, Social Rehabilitation Center of the NGO “Liberty”, NGO “Center for Supporting Homeless” (Marhanets, Dnipropetrovsk region), and initiative groups of volunteers of different confessions in Zaporizhzhia region.