Helping Homeless People At HSE
Though it is only November, it seems fair to say that winter is here. You are lucky if you have a safe and warm place to stay, spend your free time and rest after studying. Unfortunately, not everyone living in a big city like Moscow has a roof. That is why an initiative group of students decided to help homeless people make this winter a little less cold.
First of all, let me introduce you to HSE social project “Homeless story”. It was only founded last year, in the fall of 2018, by a group of students from Advertising and Public Relations Program. We faced the problem of a strongly negative reaction to homeless people in our society. What do you personally think when you see a homeless person on the street begging for money? Probably, your reaction is being annoyed and disgusted from the first look. However, have you ever thought of the reasons why these people live the way they do? Not all of them ended up this way because they are alcoholics or something like that. There are many reasons why homeless people have no other choice than to live in the streets. Our team’s main goal is to change people’s attitude to homeless people and try to give them one more chance. In our Vkontakte group and Instagram account we tell stories of homeless in a form of interviews, done by our journalists with real homeless people of Moscow.
This fall we decided to go further than just tell stories of homeless people to the public. Our team has realized that it is not that hard to help people on the streets ourselves, without any big budgets. The idea was to collect old clothes that you do not need anymore, but still keep in your closet for some reason. Sounds familiar? These clothes are better in hands of those who really need them.
Therefore, our second step was to set a date of collection - 29th of October and put the posters in the closest campuses. Unfortunately, we were only able to organize the event in one place, as we did not have as many resources. Though it was still convenient for students from closest buildings to come by – students from Pokrovka and Hitrovka also brought some clothes as well as ones from our faculty.
While collecting the clothes during the day, we entertained our givers with stories we gathered through the time in the project. For example, I remember one story that personally touched me – it is about a young boy from the Ukraine, who was already homeless at the age of 19. You could read it fully here. Moreover, we treated our guests with tea and sweets and told them how they could help homeless in future.
By the end of the day we were surprised of how many warm clothes we managed to collect – there were two giant boxes of sweaters, pullovers and other necessary winter stuff. We gave it all away to a charity organization, where homeless people get food, are able to spend a night and get some appropriate clothing.
This event showed us how many generous students there are in HSE. We really do hope to organize such collections more often or maybe even make a temporary spot where students would leave the stuff they do not need anymore! All of this would make some hopeless person’s life a little bit more comfortable.