In November we switched to winter tires: as the outside temperature drops, our Mobile clinic changes its schedule, so more patients can get help. Instead of giving out sunglasses, we give out sleeping bags (we gave out 13 of them this November!), and it’s becoming more and more important to reach those in dire situations quickly. We launched the ISeeHomelessBot in Telegram to collect information about homeless people from citizens of Saint Petersburg, and we’ve already processed first reports. We keep working.
We went out 23 times to 33 spots, where homeless people can get food and shelter, and we assisted 136 patients 202 times. We dressed 42 wounds, and we had to call an ambulance twice.
Thanks to our joint project with Club Kinoniya, our patients got to use phones for 156 minutes in November, which is a new record!
Medical assistance in shelters
We visited Malta’s shelter 13 times, we examined 23 patients 35 times in total. Dressed 15 wounds, no emergencies.
We gave out 22 pairs of glasses, 2 of which were made specifically to fit our wards; we also gave out 16 eyeglass cases. 10 patients visited an optometrist in October.
4 homeless person with symptoms of cold got an express test for COVID-19 antigens, 2 results came back negative. We also tested 40 patients for HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and syphilis, and we tested 35 patients for blood sugar level.
Homeless people can get free flu shots at every Mobile clinic stop, no IDs required. This is made possible by our collaboration with state clinics of the city. Last month, 38 people got flu shots, 14 patients got COVID-19 shots, 8 people got pneumococcus shots, 8 patients got meningococcus shots, and 12 people got shots from diphtheria and tetanus.
Charity Hospital’s staff and volunteers helped patients get help:
– 1 patient got registered at a detoxification facility
– 1 patient was hospitalised in a tuberculosis sanatorium
– 3 people got dental help
– 2 patients got help in a trauma center
– 5 people got a chance to consult with specialists in state clinics
– 1 person got a consultation in a dermatology clinic
– 1 person got psychiatric help
– 1 patient got a fluorographic examination
– 18 people got remote consultations
– 3 people got their IDs restored (with assistance from Kinoniya)
Sometimes, the only way to help a desperate homeless person, who doesn’t know where to get help, is to bring help to them. That’s what our doctors, volunteers and friends do with our outreach program. We reached out 4 times in October, and we examined 6 patients. We had to call an ambulance once.
Requests for the Telegram-bot
ISeeHomelessBot is a bot for collecting information anbout homeless people from citizens of Saint Petersburg. This information is processed, and our team follows up on it by visiting the person in need to bring help to them. 3 requests came in this November, all of them were handled by our volunteers.
If you see a homeless person on the streets of Saint Petersburg and if you want to help them, submit your request here.
We gave out the following goods last month: 1 subway token, 32 life packs, 13 sleeping bags, 2 mobile phones, 1 SIM-card, 2 walking canes, 2 pregnancy tests for homeless ladies, 31 personal hygiene kits for women, 4 umbrellas, 3 raincoats and 6 orthopedic products.
SepaRight waste collection
We were at 13 SepaRight waste collection spots this month, where people donated medicines to us.
Our medics, volunteers and colleagues from the Military-medical Academy named after S. M. Kirov, from the North-West Medical Research Centre named after V. A. Almazov, and from the European university conducted a research, looking into the prevalence of HIV among homeless people of Saint Petersburg. The results have been published in the science magazine “HIV and immunosuppression”.
This research was conducted from May to October of 2021 among homeless people in the most “popular” spots: heating stations, night shelters, help services. The research showed, that HIV occurs several times more often in homeless people than on average in Saint Petersburg and the rest of Russia. 9 out of 199 participants of this research were HIV-positive – that’s 4,5%.
Interactions with the government
To help a homeless woman with a debilitating psychiatric disorder, we cooperated with a psychoneurological dispensary and state social support services. Thanks to our colleagues from the Register center and the Diakonia foundation we managed to hospitalize her.
Thanks to our advocacy, a homeless person with a neck tumor managed to get examined at a state clinic.
We also helped a homeless man with a phlegmon of a foot to avoid getting sent back to the streets after an operation. Social services of the clinic he was admitted to, as well as social services of two districts of our city helped us look for a place for this man, and we’ll tell you more about the results soon.
Also this November:
November 14th is the World Diabetes Day, and on this day our Mobile Clinic worked as a mobile ophtalmology for homeless people the second time ever, as a part of the #VisionCheck event. This event was organized in colaboration with Kinonia, ophtalmology center Vision, a multidisciplinary clinic “League+” and the “RetinaFond” foundation, which specializes in research and treatment of diseases of the retina. Our medics worked with patients over 50, and with diabetic patients, and they screened them for diabetic retinopathy and other pathologies. Doctors from the “Vision” center examined patients using a slit lamp, the doctor from the “League+” clinic took retina pictures with a portable fundus camera, which was provided by the “RetinaFond”. We examined and consulted 12 people and gave out 12 eyeglasses over 4 hours.
We’d like to thank our colleagues for their assistance with this event.
Life.ru published a story about Charity Hospital’s work. Why did a pediatrician Sergey Ievkov decide to dedicate himself to helping homeless people, and why is street medicine important? Thanks to the Internet Development Institution for interesting photoshoots!
In November we collected enough hygiene products through donations (toothbrushes, soap, tissues, menstrual pads, etc) to last our patients until the New Year! Thank you, friends! Your support helps homeless people survive out on the streets. You can support us in any convenient way here.