Gusev, Kaliningrad, Russia, October 10, 2019
The Russian Orthodox Church continues its social work and outreach for the protection of families, opening its 67th shelter for pregnant women and mothers in crises situations, this time in the Kaliningrad Province.
The new shelter began its work recently at the Church of All Saints in Gusev, Kaliningrad. It can accommodate up to 8 people at a time, reports the press service of the Synodal Department for Charity and Social Service.
The wards will be provided with comprehensive assistance, including access to a psychologist, a lawyer, and a social worker in the shelter. The shelter is already home to a family with four children. Women and families in need can stay for a period of 1 to 3 months, during which a social worker and lawyer will help wards find housing, restore or issue necessary identification and documents, and find a job. The women will also have the opportunity to meet with priests.
The shelter was opened at the expense of a grant competition run by the Synodal Department for Charity aimed at the prevention of abortion. Two such competitions were held with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill in 2016 and 2018. Women can also receive adult and children clothing, baby food, and hygiene products at the diocesan administration center, which was also opened with funds from the grant competition.
“The ‘Mother and Child’ center for humanitarian assistance has been operating here for a year already, and this woman is our constant ward. She often comes to get things for herself and her children. At some point, this woman with four children simply had no place to live,” said Archpriest Georgy Matveev, the head of the Social Department of the Chernyakhov Diocese.
“The eastern part of the Kaliningrad Province has no such shelters. This shelter has turned out to be a very important project, as our case shows. While she is living with us, the shelter’s specialists will help to settle her issue with housing in the short term,” Fr. Georgy continued.
More than 170 large families, pregnant women, and women with children in crisis situations regularly visit the center.
Over the past 8 years, 66 shelters for women in crisis situations and more than 100 new humanitarian aid centers have been opened with the participation of the Russian Church in the past 3 years, and 190 in all.
Previously, three new shelters for mothers in difficult situations and a children’s hospice were opened in various locations throughout Russia in June.