World Homeless Day is on 10 October every year, and it is an international day to raise awareness and encourage local communities to help those who are homeless. Since its founding on 10 October 2010, World Homeless Day has been observed in more than 100 countries. The Salvation Army, one of the largest providers of social care to those homeless, deals with the issue of homelessness in the Czech Republic.
As the motto ”local acts locally on a global day“ explains, the purpose of World Homeless Day is to draw attention to people who experience homelessness needs locally and provide opportunities for the community to get involved in responding to homelessness, while taking advantage of the stage an ‘international day’ provides.
Around 150 million people worldwide don’t have their homes. It means 2% of the world population. In the Czech Republic, there are 50–70 thousand homeless people. This figure even increased in response to the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. “People who lost their jobs as a result of the coronavirus crisis and lived in the employer's hostels lost this accommodation,” points out Jan František Krupa, National Director of Salvation Army Social Services.
It is important to realize that anyone can become a homeless person. They can be people from rich and poor backgrounds, educated and uneducated, people healthy and with chronic diseases. “In the spring, the Salvation Army operated two hostels in Prague, where, for example, Mrs. B., who is 75 years old, found refuge. She has lived on the streets for 25 years, out of the system for 25 years, without an identity card, insurance and without any support at all. At the same time, she is a graduate engineer and speaks three languages. It is therefore important to emphasize that education does not play such a role in this area either,” adds Jan František Krupa.
Globally, homeless people suffer from a lack of income, which complicates their ability to afford to pay rent and buy food. They often do not have access to basic necessities, such as clean water or dry clothes. The long-term effects of the weather, be it heat, winter, rain or snow, but also hunger and overall poor nutrition, have adverse effects on the homeless. That is why the Salvation Army offers services that will help homeless people bounce back from the bottom and find meaning in living.
If you are not indifferent to the lives of homeless people, please contribute to the Salvation Army to help them in their efforts. Thank you.