Boris Grebenshikov, musician:
A person needs to be spiritually mature in order to want to help another one. A very wise man once told me that the main man’s feature is to take, and the main God’s feature is to give. But the more spiritually developed a person gets, the closer they are to God, the less they take and the more they give. If a person thinks of nothing but of how to take, they will naturally have no time to think of the homeless, of the abandoned, of other people who need help. And the higher a person gets, the more chance they have to help other people. And one needs to grow to reach that level.
<...>Keep on doing what you (“Nochlezhka”) are doing, help more and more people, because you do it brilliantly.
Billy Novik, musician:
I have seen rude attitude towards the homeless but it was mostly from those covering people who keep them as slaves... Once I saw children beating up a homeless man.
Grigory Sverdlin, head of "Nochlezhka":
We believe that a human life is precious on its own and anyone has the right for dignified life. We believe that everyone has the right to dignified living conditions. That caring for its citizens is not a right but a duty of the government.
It is very easy to find oneself on the street, but it is incredibly difficult to leave it, especially, on one’s own. The homeless need just a bit of help.
Even small doings are better than apathy, and over 22 years of work Nochlezhka has achieved quite a lot.
Why I help the Night Bus:
Ivan, 32: "It is possible to help a lot of people at the same time".
Irina, 29: "I prefer professional help. When my tooth aches, I don’t see my neighbour, I see a dentist.
This is similar. I trust specialists who know how to help people who I am concerned about.
Galina, 64: "These people are very unhappy. These guys help them. I cannot look after anyone myself any more. And they are doing a good thing and I feel myself a part of it.".
Mikhail, 49: "I am not pitiful. I do not give alms. I see no point in it. I know how difficult it can be for an adult to start a new life. People should be given a chance".
Yelena, 20: "I want to be useful. This is great. And I have met other volunteers".
Why I help the Heating Station:
Svetlana, 38: "Some people help dogs and save them. I would rather help people".
Zhenya, 19: "It is not Africa here after all. Winters can be really cold".
Kostya, 25: "I do not think the government is coping. And while the officials linger to do something about it, people die. I cannot look at it and do nothing".
Irina, 29: "I would not invite a homeless person to live with me. But I can sponsor those who help them".
Anzhela, 39: "I have experienced life without a home, with no papers, myself. I did not reach the very bottom and did not have to live on the street – my friends helped me out. And these people have no such friends, apparently. They are not as lucky".
Katya, 23: "My granny says that many a little makes a mickle. And my salary is bigger than her retirement allowance".
Why I help the Counselling Service:
Pierre, 68, Switzerland: "The Service is needed. This kind of work changes the whole practice on the nationals scale. There are homeless people everywhere. We have huge rehabilitation centres where a person can receive all kinds of help. Russia has nothing like that. We want to help the homeless of St. Petersburg. What services are available to the homeless are available to any citizen of the country".
Victoria, 33: "Our organisation supports The Counselling Service because it shows result, it works"
Yelena, 33: "We support this project because there is work with medical institutions as well as patients. Any other patient can be treated the way homeless patients are treated. It is important to protect the rights of the patients without forgetting the ethical code of the doctor".
Andrey, 44: "I have been helping both the Night Bus and the Heating Station for a long time. It is a good thing that there is now a health project. Sometimes expensive medicines are needed".