* RED CROSS OF THE CITY OF SKOPJE
The Red Cross of the City of Skopje makes use of two active programs to provide assistance to homeless people. The first program is focused on homeless people and their needs, and the other one focuses on a wider group of vulnerable categories of people, including the homeless.
RECEPTION POINT FOR HOMELESS PEOPLE
The reception point for homeless people in Momin Potok is open on Fridays. On Mondays, it is open only for hygienic services of its users. It is regularly visited by 65 homeless people, of which 45 people come on Fridays. Since its opening in 2008, some 170 homeless people have been registered to use its services.
- Hygienic Services
Prior to receiving any other services, the homeless people may take a bath and get clean clothes. They can collect their laundry the following Friday.
- Primary Health Care
The people in the reception point receive free primary health care and medicine. In case of a need of further medical care, alternative solutions are sought after for coverage of the expenses and provision of state-subsidized accommodation. At this level, no systemic solutions have been developed for provision of medical treatment to persons lacking health insurance and personal documentation.
- Psychological Assistance
The goal of the psychological assistance is to strengthen the personal responsibility, the decision-making processes and the activities of the homeless people, in order to ensure a positive build-up of their personality.
- Social Work
The social worker prepares social anamnesis of the recent homeless persons, updates the existing files, provides counseling, facilitates the obtaining of personal identification documents, issues certifications for all users, assists and supports the illiterate in filling in the papers, facilitates provision of free dental and legal services and provides employment support, as well as organizes regular sales of the Face to Face Street Magazine, and, when necessary, accompanies the persons to the respective institutions.
- Temporary Shelter
The temporary shelter is regularly open for homeless people with deteriorated health. The shelter is also active during winter times, when the temperature drops below 10 degrees, and is supported by on-call, motorized Red Cross teams, deployed in the field, available for 24 hours per day.
Visiting Social Services
The Red Cross of the City of Skopje engages three visiting social workers who detect people and families at risk, including the category of homeless people. Their role is to identify the problems of the people at risk and refer them to all available resources, in the community and the city.
The citizens may support actions of the Red Cross targeting homeless people through donation of clothes, food, hygienic needs and blankets. Donations may be brought at the storehouse of the Skopje City Red Cross, in Momin Potok.
The citizens may report homeless people on the tel. 02/3139 578.
Clothes reception points for homeless people and other socially vulnerable categories of citizens – In June 2014, the Red Cross of the City of Skopje opened up a second-hand clothes reception point in Momin Potok, aimed for the socially vulnerable groups of people, where they can get clothes, by using Red Cross vouchers.
Additionally, eight containers for donation of clothes have been set up in Skopje, Bitola, Ohrid and Struga. The clothes-donation project is supported by the Skopje Alfa Bank.
LICE V LICE (FACE TO FACE) STREET MAGAZINE
The magazine was first launched in September 2012 and it promotes the social entrepreneurship model. Its vendors come from the most vulnerable groups of society, including the homeless, whereas 50 percent of the magazine price goes to the seller, and the other 50 percent is used to print the magazine and finance the activities to improve the lives of marginalized people, which are part of the program of Lice v lice.
Apart from being involved in the sales of Lice v lice, the vendors take part in an educational program for improvement of their communication and selling skills and boosting their self-confidence and motivation. This program enables them to have direct meetings with representatives of companies where organized sales of the Lice v lice magazine take place. Some of the companies offer employment to the magazine vendors who have the necessary qualifications. So far, three magazine vendors have secured employment through this program. Lice v lice regularly raise awareness on the issue of homelessness.
Action – a day with a homeless person – A promotional action was carried out with the homeless people, as part of which artists spend an entire day with a homeless person, after which they produced a themed work of art (short story, song, photography, and drawing). These were later on published in the Face to Face magazine. The challenge this initiative brought was unconditionally accepted by the artist Atanas Botev, photographers Tomislav Georgiev and Elena Dimitrievska and writers Ivan Sopov and Nikolina Andova – Sopova.
RE-TWEET A MEAL AND TRUE ACTS OF KINDNESS
Hot soup, rice and meat is most often shared by this initiative. Each Saturday, at noon, in front of the Mother Teresa Memorial House, homeless people come to have a hot meal provided by the True Acts of Kindness and the Twitter-supported initiative. There is also an open Facebook group, which invites everyone who is willing to help to give an idea, suggestion, provide logistics, and other products. The True Acts of Humanity has started its activities in 2013 and, in cooperation with the citizens, donates food, clothes, sheets, and other necessities for the homeless.
Every Saturday a regular food-sharing event takes place in front of the Mother Theresa Memorial House, supported by the True Acts of Kindness and the Twitter initiative. The first such event was organized on 29 December 2013.
Freshis is the first restaurant with social responsibility in the country, which donates 34 percent of its profit to social aims. It opened in May 2015 and it cooperates with the NGO True Acts of Kindness where it donates food on a weekly basis. It also cooperates with the NGO Re-Tweet a Meal where on Saturdays they manage to provide food for some 150 people. Food from Freshis is also donated to the community food service in the Gjorce Petrov Church of Ss. Peter and Paul.
COMMUNITY FOOD SERVICES
MLSP – The Community Food Services is a project of the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy which started in 2007. According to the data, some 49 community food services operate in the country, catering to approximately 4000 people.
Macedonian Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church
Community food services have been opened in Skopje, by the Macedonian Orthodox Church Ss. Peter and Paul as part of the Gjakonia humanitarian organization. A community food service is also available under the auspices of the Macedonian Orthodox Church in Veles. The Catholic Church in Skopje also offers services to the homeless people.
– Food Bank Macedonia – This NGO collects food prior to its expiry deadline and distributes it through the community food services or through organizations that work with vulnerable groups.