Voices from Russia

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Patriarch Kirill Gave a Feast for the Homeless on His Birthday

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Today was the birthday of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias, so Orthodox activists prepared festivities for Moscow homeless; street people got treats and gifts. More than 120 homeless people came this afternoon for the daily food handout at the Salvation Tent* on Nikoloyamskaya Street in Moscow; in addition to the normal food distribution, they got cakes, biscuits, and dairy products. In addition, everyone got a prepared meal to take home. Roman Skorosov, the head of homeless services for the Mercy Orthodox Relief Service, said:

We gave them biscuits, ice cream, bananas, cakes, cookies. In addition, we handed out canned fish. This gladdened the homeless people. They thanked us, asking us how old the Patriarch was, as well as asking about his health. They wanted us to tell His Holiness that they were grateful for the food. We told the street people in advance that we were holding a special dinner for them today.

  • In Russian, the word ангар (angar) doesn’t just mean “hangar”, we also use it for large tents and industrial premises… the former is the obvious usage here

On an average day, about 80 to 100 people come to the Salvation Tent. They can warm up there, get a haircut, get medical help, take a shower, and call relatives. Social workers help the homeless to recover documents and purchase tickets to their native area, if anyone wants to go back home. Daily, the staff gives out noodles or potatoes and tea. In the evening, the Social Patrol bus takes people to the Lublin Social Services Centre. Distribution of gifts and treats for the homeless people also occurred near the Paveletsky and Kiev Rail Stations, and in other parts of Moscow. The employees of the Youth Department of the Moscow City Diocese and the Orthodox Volunteers helped the Salvation Tent staff organise the special treats for the homeless on Patriarch Kirill’s birthday, together with assistance from the Danilov Monastery {administrative centre of the MP and winter residence of HH: editor}.

The Salvation Tent is one of the 24 projects of the Mercy Orthodox Relief Service. Its main objective is to ease the return of the homeless into society. Any man in crisis without a roof over his head, regardless of the state of his documents and place of registration, can get help there. Mercy Orthodox Relief Service gives aid of 24 different types, from aid to orphans to helping the homeless and HIV patients. You can help by becoming a Friend of Mercy and setting up a regular donation on this special page.

20 November 2015



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