Winter in Saint Lazarus Boarding House – rejections

Winter is a challenging time for homeless people living in public space, gardening allotments and abandoned buildings in Warsaw. The scale of this population is assessed at 500-1000 people by local authorities. Once temperatures fall many of them start to look for safer and wormer places in shelters run by local non-governmental organizations. There are about thirty of them including two low-threshold nightshelters for 400 people. They usually do have some free spaces which is not the case in longer stay shelters: they are full all year long with only a few available spaces each week. Social workers of the Saint Lazarus Boarding House are approached by 10 people a day (on average) asking for a place to stay. We do not count people asking only by the phone. Thy come many times a week and have been already rejected by other services. Since October 1st till end of December we had to reject over 120 people (unique, no double-counting). Ten of them with disbailities, aged mostly 46-65, born and registered for permanent stay out of Warsaw and single divorced. We have no left bed spaces even in the attic where we organize extra temporary beds.