Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Russia, April 29, 2021
The Russian Orthodox Church has launched another Mercy Bus to help the homeless and needy.
This is the 17th mobile homeless aid center created by the Russian Church. Every Saturday, the bus will deliver hot meals and humanitarian aid to those in need in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky in the far eastern Kamchatka Region, reports the Synodal Department for Social Services and Charity.
The bus was blessed by His Eminence Archbishop Theodore of Petropavlovsk and Kamchatka, who noted that diocesan volunteers have been providing assistance already for many years, with their own transportation. “The bus will significantly increase our opportunities, and it’s significant that we’re doing this on the eve of Pascha, so that the during the Paschal season, as many people as possible who are below the poverty line will be able to get help and comfort,” the Archbishop said.
After the blessing, volunteers stocked the bus and immediately went out on the first trip.
The Mercy Bus project was launched in Moscow in 2004. Every night from November to May, volunteers toured all the capital train and bus stations to assist the homeless, offering food, warm clothes, medicines, and a place to shower. More than 35,000 homeless people were saved from freezing during its 9 years of operation.
The Russian Church currently has 17 Mercy Buses that operate throughout Russia, and also in Belarus and Kyrgyzstan.