Warsaw opens a home for youth in homelessness crisis

TVN24 News in English, TVN24
Dom dla młodzieży w kryzysie bezdomości
Dom dla młodzieży w kryzysie bezdomościTVN24
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TVN24Dom dla młodzieży w kryzysie bezdomości

Last week, a home for youth who had found themselves in homelessness crisis was opened in Warsaw. The house, which was rearranged to serve this particular purpose, already hosts seven residents. "Usually when we talk about homelessness, we think about an older man with a beard who doesn't smell too nicely, but we don't see a face of an 18-year-old - and I have met such persons. I thought to myself it should not be this way: these young people have the right to step into adulthood in convenient, decent starting conditions - and we saw about that," chief of "Po drugie" foundation Agnieszka Sikora told TVN24.

A home for youth in homelessness crisis was opened in Warsaw last week. Chairperson of "Po drugie" foundation Agnieszka Sikora told TVN24 that many of us did not realise that young people also could find themselves in homelessness crisis.

"We very rarely think that such persons can be experiencing homelessness. And we have young people coming to us, who for instance have been living for six months in a basement, or had to spend some nights in buses. Problems of these young people have roots in their families, their homelessness stems out of their own homes, from families which were in name only, from homes which lacked safety and basic things, which lacked love," she explained.

Sikora added that some the foundation pupils had been in foster care - in children's homes or foster families. "But ever more often young people come to us, who have never been in any institution, who have never been helped by the system. But the system failed to address problems that had been in their families," she said.

Home for youth in homelessness crisis in WarsawTVN24

Seven residents so far

"I remember when a year ago we spoke in TVN24 that such a home was needed - and we've managed to open it. We have space for 15 people, but right now we have seven residents, not that there's a lack of those in need, but because we have to teach ourselves how to run this home, how to live in it," Sikora said.

She added: "There's a caretaker in the house 24/7, who makes sure nothing bad happens there, making sure the youth wake up in the morning and eat breakfast, so that this place is clean, tidy, fresh, to make them feel like home. I think it won't take long until the house is fully packed".

Home for youth in homelessness crisis in WarsawTVN24

Safety and roof over heads

"She shows us we aren't excluded as young people, makes sure we're safe and have roof over our heads, she provides us with food, helps us look for work, we have access to a psychologist - this is just wonderful what Agnieszka Sikora does and let's hope she keeps on helping kids. She has helped me a lot," one of the residents of the home told TVN24 on the opening day.

"We have a psychologist, a career coach, an addiction therapist and a lawyer - so the kids can seek help from all those specialists. It is our goal to make these young people solve their difficulties and problems step by step, bit after bit, and stand on their own two feet," Sikora stressed.

She added the basic idea was to make sure time of residence would not exceed six months.

"We treat all our pupils very individually, each of them has different time needs. However, we would like this home to be such a place, in which after half a year a young person has a job and makes some money, and either makes progress and moves into our training flat, or is ready after these six months to rent a room or apartment, or get the keys to a council flat," Agnieszka Sikora explained.


Źródło: TVN24 News in English, TVN24

Źródło zdjęcia głównego: TVN24

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