A few months ago, a shelter for homeless people was opened in Tbilisi. While the news on it appeared in the media, people at large do not know how the story continued or what challenges the people residing there face. Oftentimes even people who are homeless are not informed of its existence, or its conditions. The fear of something unknown is a barrier for homeless people to go there.
We want to find people and to give them information about the new shelter. The new lodgers of the shelter certainly face a number of challenges that stay unknown to the media, public, the NGO sector and the government's social services, and organisations with the tools to help them overcome the challenges. The exposure of these problems and communicating them to the actors concerned can make a difference.
Further, by showing these people in a different light, their human side, I want to evoke the public's empathy and change their attitude to the people who may seem different but really just need a little help.
The second problem is the adaptation of the newly comers to the new environment in the shelter. The facility brings together people of different ages, faiths, profession,s mental wellbeing and health. Now they find it difficult to adjust to the new environment. While they have support from the state, they inadequately react to the new rules and lifestyle. This often causes conflicts among the shelter beneficiaries and with the administration.
Because we want to reduce homelessness, we need this shelter to work. First, we will change attitude towards strangers who need support, so that they feel more responsible for others and take care of them. We also hope to connect these individuals with people able to help.
My idea is to start a blog on the issue and start writing stories about the shelter on a regular basis.
The blog will inform the wider public of the conditions of the shelter, will cover their story from the beginning to their full-time adaptation period. The publicity will help draw the government's and the NGOs' attention to the issue and give an in-depth coverage, which can be used for research later on.
Also, as I realize that the homeless people do not have access to internet , I will try to locate them in the streets, explain their conditions, their rights and responsibilities and help them with adaptation. A number of poor and socially vulnerable people will benefit from it.
We will make a list of homeless people based on the data from municipalities and volunteers collecting data. A special blog will be created which will publish reports, stories, portraits of the unknown people, twice a week, and also give publicity and recognition of the role the volunteers are playing. The issue will become subject to wider discussions.
The volunteers will also be actively involved to find help the newcomers and the shelter residents adapt to co-existence. They will serve in turns, and help the shelter staff to take care of the residents and communicate. A few meetings and events will be arranged to support the distressed people.
1. The state will have a more accurate data about the number of homeless people, and how many of them need the state support.
2. The well-being of the vulnerable people will improve.
3. The number of homeless people will reduce
4. People’s attitude towards the homeless will change, young people will become more compassionate.
5. The private sector will show more interest into the issue
I am a journalist with years of experience of working in the media, a blogger, and currently a PR manager working for a private company.
I need a phone collect these stories, and post entries on the blog, Our initiative will continue in other regions of Georgia as well, if there is funding. We will post materials on the blog on a regular basis to keep people updated and monitor the situation. We will continue this into the foreseeable future, especially until the shelter is operating with stability.
Equal gender opportunity:
We will involve men and women in the volunteering, and of course, both homeless men and women will benefit.
10 travel cards with 20 GEL top-up on each, so that volunteers can travel around the city to find homeless people.
Tbilisi Transport Company
Railway Station #2.(+995 32) 235-77-77
I need a smart phone to take photos and record interviews with the people in the shelters and people living in the streets. The phone should have a good memory enough to replace a voice recorder and a camera. I am suggesting this model but ready to discuss other model with similar features: Soni Xpenia M4.
Tbilisi2 60 30 60