How Does a Nocleženka Help in Real Life? 

Read the stories that our field social workers have recorded for us.


Mr. Eduard's Story

Mr. Eduard is an orphan, with a very difficult character, whose life story is full of setbacks. Under the Communist regime, he was sent to uranium mines for forced labor. After the revolution, he began to fight with his main life enemy - gambling. One day, he was lucky and even won a bigger amount of money, but because of his addiction, he soon lost it all again. Since then, he has alternated between living on the street and living with his girlfriend; because of his difficult character, he has no friends and sees the world very negatively. As he got older, his recalcitrance grew worse and especially the life on the street was more and more problematic. A stroke him him a year and a half ago; he survived, but needs to use crutches. He claims that he would rather have his right leg "cut off." Our field social worker got to know him a year ago. At first, Mr. Eduard did not trust him at all and did not answer his questions; he was completely resigned to his life situation. As time went by, the worker visited him every day; they often just sat next to each other, watching the surrounding world. He even managed to take Mr. Eduard to a physician who did a great job. In spite of his original distrust of people and of his social phobia, Mr. Eduard was able to apply for a flat with day care; his application was approved and now Mr. Eduard is waiting for the flat. Since then, Mr. Eduard has been daily coming to the Salvation Army day centre; thanks to Nocleženka, he can spend nights at the night shelter. Mr. Eduard is beginning to once again trust people, he is actively solving his financial situation and hopes that he will be able to live through the autumn of his life in peace and with a positive view of the world. We wish him that his life story really will have a happy ending.

Mr. František's Story

We first contacted Mr. Franitšek on a bench in a park. He had known the services of the Salvation Army from his past, but had stopped using them because he had not been able to get along with other users of these services. At first, he thus refused all our help. In the next contact, Mr. František started to talk about his trouble - gambling addiction. He had played for incredible 28 years and during this time, he had lost his apartment, wife and children. Many times, he attempted to get rid of his addiction, but he never managed for more than a month. Eventually, he gave up all his efforts and made peace with living on the street and "pouring" his entire pension into slot machines within three days of receiving it. For the rest of the month, he lived out of what passers-by gave him. Thanks to the patience of our social workers, we have succeeded in bringing Mr. František to changing his life - especially by offering him accommodation thanks to Nocleženka vouchers and also by helping him to deal with his addiction. As a first step, Mr. František needed to visit a psychiatrist who would write him a recommendation for treatment. He was afraid to go to the doctor alone because he had lost about 50% of hearing and he was not sure whether he would be able to communicate well enough. As a part of the healthcare we provide in the field, our workers offered to escort him to a doctor. The physician examined Mr. František and recommended treatment in a psychiatric hospital. Then, a complicated process of finding a suitable hospital began, as it was not possible to place him to many of the hospitals, usually because of his bad hearing and inability to participate in group therapies. Several rejections unfortunately reflected in his motivation and zest for life. Eventually, we managed to get a hearing aid for Mr. František, to help him go to a hospital and to try to stand on his own feet again. His story is far from over and we believe that everything will be turned to good.

Mr. Petr's Story

One of the clients who benefited from the help of the Nocleženka vouchers project was a divorced, approximately fifty-year-old man with a wealth of work experience, who found himself on the street and had to deal with his situation acutely. He was not entitled to receiving benefits, he was completely out of funds. Thanks to the Nocleženka vouchers, he had a secured roof over his head at least for the night, using the free day service of the low-threshold day center. At the beginning of our cooperation there were daytime frosts and it was impossible to sleep outside. It is also worth mentioning that the client had not spent a single night on the street and had lived an absolutely normal life. When using the service, Mr. Petr stabilized and gained the necessary strength to "return to normal." After several weeks of using the above-mentioned services, he found employment. He quickly adapted and performing a rather demanding work is not a problem for him. In the near future, he wants to return to the life he was used to.

Mr. Karel's Story

Mr. Karel was brought to the night shelter by an ambulance after a basic medical check-up at an ER. He had spent the previous four days in a cellar of a rental house. He was noticed by tenants who gave him water and called the ambulance. Mr. Karel was physically and mentally exhausted, eating and drinking nearly nothing. He was disoriented, he had no papers, he could not remember whether he had lost them or whether they had been stolen from him. He was unable to say whether he was registered at the Labor Office or whether he had been put out of their database. It was impossible to do anything with him because he felt weakened. Mr. Karel was provided with Nocleženka vouchers, and after three nights spent in the night shelter, during which he received soups with pastry and was warm, he somewhat recovered a little. In the following days, the workers helped him with getting his ID card and insurance card and they went with him to see the doctor a few times. Mr. Karel is now stabilized, he is receiving material need benefits and seeking employment to once again become independent. 

Photogallery

From the life of the homeless.

We greatly thank Professor Jindřich Štreit for capturing real images from the life of the homeless. 

                 I want to contribute to the Salvation                  Army's activities.