For the eighth time, the Salvation Army will launch the Nocleženka project, in which people can buy a voucher for a night in a hostel for homeless people for one hundred crowns. Last year, they contributed to thirty thousand overnight beds throughout the country, and 7,800 were used in Prague.
“For people on the street, a different stage of life begins in November, very demanding, very dangerous. It’s not just about health, but for some of them it’s also about life,” he said at the press conference Jan František KrupaSalvation Army National Director of Social Services.
People can purchase a voucher for one hundred crowns via the Nocleženka website. Social workers then allocate them to people in need. This also takes place partly in the field, paper vouchers are handed out there, other people come straight to the hostel.
“The nightstand helps the Salvation Army cover the cost that the state does not cover. The state will help us with energy and wages within the framework of subsidies. Operation, including the restoration of bedding or food aid, these are things that subsidies do not solve,” said Krupa.
In 2022, people bought a total of thirty thousand of them. Most people use them in larger cities, in Prague there were 7,800.
According to surveys, 3,500 to 4,500 people live on the street in Prague. “It’s quite a high number and the standard capacities that Prague has currently cannot provide a bed for everyone,” informed Jan Desensky, director of the Karel Larsson Social Services Center of the Salvation Army in Prague. He added that there are about 358 beds available in the hostels in Prague. In addition to this, they will provide about two hundred extra for the four months from December to March.
The Salvation Army will also take part in a night field program, when social service workers go to people directly on a bench or in a tent from seven in the evening to eight in the morning. It offers transportation to a dormitory or care in a night hygiene center.
They will operate it in Prague 10. “There, we have the ability to put the person in a cleaner state so that they can be transferred to an outpatient service such as a winter shelter,” specified Desenký.
As Krupa mentioned, they don’t accept people in a drunken state at the hostel. However, in freezing weather, the rules will be relaxed. “During the winter, we try to open services at an even lower threshold than throughout the year,” said Krupa.
Inka, who was kicked out of the apartment by a friend, also used the nightstand during the summer. She slept on the street for a few nights, then finally got into a hostel. Now he lives in an asylum and hopes to get back on his feet.