Day of the Homeless

A day of solidarity with those who live and those who died on the streets

Day of the Homeless

День бездомного человека
  • When

    30th March

  • Price

    Free of charge

What is the Day of the Homeless?

Every year, the 30th of March is a day of solidarity with those forced to live on the streets. This initiative was jointly launched in 2017 by the foundation Nuzhna Pomosh’ (Help needed), the charity Nochlezhka, and the internet portal Takiye Dela.

The problem of homelessness needs to be talked about in order to change the perception of these people.

Why are we carrying it out?

In order to change the perception of homeless people. To draw public attention to the distress of those left without shelter. To talk about the problem of homelessness and show that in Russia, nobody is safe from misfortune: people end up on the street due to a combination of social and economic difficulties, personal troubles, problems with their health and lack of strength.

The Day of the Homeless is a good reason to start talking about this big problem in the media and across social networks. Nobody is safe from homelessness. To see this for yourself, complete Nochlezhka’s test and find out how likely you are to end up on the streets. What happened during the Day of the Homeless in 2020? “A house in the eyes of the homeless” Nochlezhka and the retail chain Leroy Merlin created an installation on the grounds of Hlebozavod showing what a house in the eyes of a homeless person looks like. Volunteers built a 2.5 by 2.5 metres large model of a house.

Through the windows onlookers can see a cozy room, warm light, a welcoming interior — but the house is locked, its windows are spanned by wire mesh. It is impossible to get inside. If a house, for most people, forms part of a daily routine, without which it would be difficult to imagine a peaceful life, for homeless people, a house is a dream and a goal. With this initiative the charity Nochlezhka and Leroy Merlin want to draw visitors’ attention to the problem of homelessness and support those who ended up on the streets. A person in the high risk category: 9 signs Nochlezhka created a list of nine signs which allow to understand whether a person close to you may become homeless.

During a recession the risk of ending up on the street rises significantly – people lose their jobs, the ability to rent a home or pay mortgages. It is very important to catch those who are starting to spiral downwards. With this list Nochlezhka wants to remind you that nobody is safe from homelessness.

Every day someone’s friend or colleague ends up on the streets. Even just a little help at the right time can save a person from hardship. Spotting the signs from the list can help to understand whether a person is on the brink of homelessness.

9 Signs that your friend, acquaintance, or colleague risks becoming homeless

Current events

1. Are they going through a break-up or conflict with those close to them? Possibly they will have to leave their home, but they have nowhere else to go.

2. Did they move for work recently and have not yet met new friends who could help out? This person could be facing difficulties with nobody to confine in.

3. Are they taking care of ill relatives? Is there a person who depends on them financially? The income of such families could have fallen to critically low levels.

4. Have they become seriously ill or injured? Do they have to pay for expensive treatment? Possibly they cannot work to full capacity or provide for themselves.

5. Have they been fired or are they not receiving their salaries? Have they changed jobs and now receive a lower salary? This can affect their ability to pay for their housing. External signs and behaviors

6. Have they started borrowing seemingly insignificant sums of money? Are they saving on necessities like food and transport? Perhaps they do not have enough money to pay for a home or repay their loans.

7. Have they started to look different from before? Have they stopped taking care of themselves, looking after their hygiene or are they appearing unkept for prolonged periods of time? Potentially they do not have a place to sleep or look after themselves.
8. Do they look depressed or appear absent-minded? They could be experiencing high levels of stress affecting their performance at work or limiting their ability to pay for housing.

9. Have they suddenly broken off contact? Are they refusing to meet up or call, without giving a reason? Are they not telling you what is going on in their lives or avoid answering such questions? It is possible that they are facing hardship and have been left without money or a home, and are facing difficulties that they are too embarrassed to share.

Libraries, book shops and publishers

Libraries in Moscow and St. Petersburg have prepared dedicated shelves for the Day of the Homeless and have placed posters in their branches. Before the start of lockdown visitors could see them in person. In Moscow and St. Petersburg, 34 and 22 libraries respectively supported the initiative.

• The book publisher Nikea will donate 10% of their online store book sales between 30.03. and 08.04. to Nochlezhka

• The online library MyBook has published a selection of 30 books on the topic of homelessness for the Day of the Homeless. For everybody who is staying at home for lockdown MyBook offers a free one-month subscription using the code STAYHOME.

• The online library Bookmate published a selection of 10 books which motivate, distract and calm people during difficult times. This selection was created by the director of Nochlezhka, Grigory Sverdlin, as part of the #sitdownandread campaign. In addition to that, Bookmate Journal published an interview with Grigory in which the organization’s director talks about how the lockdown and the pandemic affect the work of Nochlezhka.

• The portal Storytel will talk about the Day of the Homeless on their social media channels and will share a selection of books on homelessness with its readers. In light of the lockdown Storytel has extended the trial subscription period – now people can listen to audiobooks for free for 30 days.

• The bookstore Podpisnie Izdaniya in St. Petersburg has prepared a dedicated shelf with books on the issue of homelessness

• In Moscow the bookstores Falanster and Pioner Bookstore have prepared book selections about homeless people and homelessness.

• Together with Nochlezhka, the Day of the Homeless is talked about by:

• Nochlezhka’s director Grigory Sverdlin will talk about the Day of the Homeless and the work of the organization during the lockdown on the TV channel Dozhd’. • Art expert and architecture historian Ksenia Malich will publish a list of three works of art on the topic of homelessness

• The annual day of solidarity with all those who live and die on the street will be talked about on the platforms of: Novaya Gazeta, Vedomosti, Echo Moskvy, Arzamas, Stradayushee Srednekrovye, PostNauka, 2x2, Sobaka, Tretyakov Gallery on Krymsky Val, GARAGE, PechaKucha Moscow, House of Bulgakov, Russian Impressionism Museum, Meyerhold Center (CIM), Jewish Museum, Museum of Moscow, Pushkin Museum, The Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography, The British Higher School of Design, ARTPLAY, Flacon, Vinzavod, InLiberty, Klyuch, Dom Kul’tur, The EU Delegation in Moscow, International Cycling Congress, Strelka, School of Art and Design at the Higher School of Economics, Teorii i Praktiki, Museon, British Council, Mel, Beat Film Festival, Shaninka, Ziferblat, CreativeMornings Moscow, Telegraph by Rent24, МАММ, Mutabor, Richter, Cekh, The Question, Nozh, Sakharov Center, “Iskustvo” (Art) Journal, Sigma, Look at Me, “Pioner” cinema, Mediazona, Vozrast Schastya, Afisha, Nixelpixel, Evgeny Feldman, Viktoria Rashina, Leonid Klein, Moskvich Mag, the charity “Druzya” (Friends), Anna Akhmatova Museum, Podpisnie Izdaniya, Vse svobodny, Etazhi, Teatr Pokoleniy, KudaGo, Lektorium CULTURA, Bumaga,, Echo Moskvy in St. Petersburg, Ilya Varlamov, Tamara Eidelman, ASI, Peterburg2, MBK Media

“Homelessness is neither a characteristic of a person nor their choice. It is a difficult and terrifying period in their life that is hard to face alone. Especially when those around you stop seeing the human in a homeless person on the street, with their own story, memory, and dignity. It is symbolic that this year the Day of the Homeless coincides with the first day of lockdown in Russia. We see calls to stay at home in order to live through the danger, but at the same time, the tens of thousands of people across the whole country who remain on the streets and simply cannot return home are those without a home. It is ever more important for us to draw the public’s attention to the problem of homelessness and show that the line between “normal” people and those without a roof over their heads is very thin” says the director of Nochlezhka, Grigory Sverdlin.


The Day of the Homeless Man - this is a good reason to talk about this big issue in the media and social networks. No one is immune from homelessness.  Make sure of this, take the Nochlezhka org. test - and estimate, how likely you are to be homeless.
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