“Shower vehicle” for homeless in Moscow
It is planned to establish a “Shower vehicle” for homeless people in Moscow. This was announced by the head of the Orthodox service for homeless “Helper and protector” Ilya Kuskov. He noted that the mobile shower complex will be based on an ordinary city bus. It will comprise the heater, six shower units, water reservoir and the reservoir for sullage. This bus will stop at problem areas for the provision of sanitation services to homeless people.
"Negative is formed towards the homeless because of their appearance and smell. Today we have a fixed bath point on the Nikoloyamskaya street, but not everyone can go there. Creating mobile showers is able to solve the problem", - said Kuskov.
He also stressed that in the future would probably be established a mobile free hairdresser for the homeless. In addition, it is intended to provide visitors with clean clothes instead of the old and dilapidated.
"We plan to build six shower units inside the bus. Thus, the bus will be able to serve about eighteen people per hour" - said Kuskov.
The approximate cost of creating the “Shower vehicle” will be about 11 million rubles. However, in the current economic conditions, the amount could grow. ROC plans to announce the collection of funds for the purchase of the bus and the necessary equipment.
Today in Moscow, there are about 11,000 of homeless people, 90% of them are non-residents. According to the Department of Labor and Social Protection, in the capital there are two centers of social adaptation of homeless citizens. During the last 9 months of 2015 they helped to 2.7 thousand of people. 305 people got hospital treatment, 196 were employed and six regained housing.
Moreover, there’s a special service named “Social patrol” operating in Moscow. Its buses are on duty at the station in winter and used as mobile units for homeless heating. The brigade consists of paramedics to provide medical care on the spot. In addition, the "Rescue shelter" is open 24/7 where beggars can be offered not only food and lodging, but also legal advice and employment assistance. There are also a free cinema and library for the homeless in Moscow.
Deputy General Director of Scientific and Research Institute for Engines and Motor Vehicles (NAMI) Denis Zagarin noted that the Russian army is also equipped with mobile bath and laundry units; however, it is hardly possible to use them in the city.
“The military bath and laundry unit consists of many different modules. Besides the shower, it also comprises several tents, where people can get dry and change their clothes. Thus it may be difficult to set it up in the city”, - says Mr. Zagarin.
The expert assured us that it won’t be difficult to make the bus into the “Shower vehicle”. "The bus is a convenient multi-purpose platform. There are mobile hospitals, and even bus toilets are always on duty in St. Petersburg's Palace Square. Mobile bath and laundry facility can be connected to the city communications: water supply, sewerage, or made fully autonomous. It is possible to place on board a supply of water, a tank for receiving waste water, heating and diesel generator. Regular city bus width is of two meters and up to 10-12 meters in length, it is possible to equip even a few rooms for different purposes, "- says Zagarin.
Coordinator of the "Friends of the street" Natalya Markova fully supports the initiative of the Orthodox service, but notes a number of important organizational issues.
"First, you need to calculate the session so that the man could dry off and sit in the warmth, and did not get immediately into the cold. Second, the bus does not have to stop in the squares or other large open spaces. The homeless will be more comfortable if there will be some quiet place where they will not be stared at. Thirdly, a good idea to develop some kind of schedule, to let people know that, for example, every Thursday at this site will be free shower, "- she said.
With the coming cold weather the representatives and volunteers are planning to go out on regular raids to search for the homeless. Finding a man who sleeps on the street, the volunteers will give information about him to the police and social workers. In addition, social services plan to publish information on such persons in the database "Find Me." Service helps in the search for missing persons. This is childish and clinical hospitals, psychiatric hospitals and other organizations. In the first phase of a pilot project was intended to connect to the website of the Center for Social Adaptation "Lublino".
In addition, winter spa kiosks for ordinary citizens may appear in the capital's parks. People can relax, warm up after a long walk, take a sauna or a Jacuzzi with a view of the park. And in Moscow parks began to establish a heated benches and equip campfire places. The surface of these benches will be heated depending on the temperature. For example, it is heated to 15 degrees Celsius, when the street will be a minus 20. If the thermometer reached 0 - benches will heat up to 5 degrees.
Text: Vitaliy Volovatov