About the Interaction with the state
Why we do it
Working with the homeless every day, we see what gets in the way of quickly and efficiently helping each person. Through summarising our practice and analysing the gaps in the legislation, we understand whether the problems we face are systemic or occasional. If the problem is systemic, we can propose a solution at the regional or federal level. We want the principles of accessible and person-centred assistance to be applied throughout the country. It is impor- tant to stop people at risk from becoming homeless and help homeless people return to normal lives.
How it works
We work on legislative initiatives, communicate with federal departments, regional and municipal administrations. We act as experts on homelessness and promote our position at round tables, meetings and forums. Since 1992, we have been issuing certificates stating that Nochlezhka considers a person to be homeless: it is a document with a photograph, a seal and a social worker’s signature. We have given out over 70,000 such certificates over the years. This makes life easier for people who have no other papers. In 1997, on Nochlezhka’s initiative, the city launched a programme for helping the homeless. Before that, assistance to homeless people in St. Petersburg was not regulated by law. As a result of our efforts since 2010 all people in St. Peters- burg who have no registration have been able to obtain a mandatory medical insurance. Thanks to this, in ten years, over 40,000 people have received mandatory medical insu- rance, which means they have access to free medical care. In 2012, Nochlezhka succeeded in ensuring that people staying in state-run night shelters get temporary registra- tion at these shelters. Last year we hired a GR-specialist — a person who com- municates with officials in their language, interacts with them on the regional and federal levels, working to make sure that the problem of homelessness is solved at the state level.