Khabarovsk, Russia, February 1, 2018
Three new medical centers specifically for the homeless will be built in Khabarovsk Krai, the Irkutsk Province, and the Chuvash Republic with the participation of the Russian Orthodox Church. The opening of the regional medical centers was discussed in a Ministry of Health conference call on Tuesday, reports the Synodal Department for Charity of the Moscow Patriarchate.
The meeting of the joint commission of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian Ministry of Health was attended by representatives of the regional ministries, the local dioceses of the Russian Church, and public organizations of the pilot regions where the centers will be opened.
It is planned that the medical centers will appear in three centers with populations of more than 50,000 in the indicated regions.
As the head of the Synodal Department’s work with the homeless Irina Meshkova noted, it is important not just to organize medical help for the homeless, but also to create safe and comfortable conditions for the regional specialists who will be working with them.
According to Deputy Minister of Health of the Irkutsk Province Galina Sinkova, there are also discussions for opening two more medical centers for the homeless, including a mobile one.
Khabarovsk is also home to three specially-equipped railway cars that have been converted into a shelter for the homeless. The so-called “Mercy Train” will open every evening, offering the local homeless a place not only to sleep, but to eat, do laundry, and even to pray in the church included in the train. The train can accommodate up to 100 people at the same time.
The Russian Orthodox Church operates more than 4,000 Church social institutions, projects, and initiatives today, including 95 Orthodox homeless shelters and 10 mobile aid stations.