The 'House of Mercy' Men's Crisis Centre welcomes in men who have ended up homeless, are struggling with addiction and many other circumstances that mean their lives are in crisis. Some of the residents are elderly and have been made homeless by family.
At this Christian-led refuge their basic needs for food, clothing and shelter are met as they work towards full rehabilitation that will allow them to work and serve the community.
Russia has long been known for its widespread problem with alcohol.
In fact, researchers once projected that one out of every two working-age men would die prematurely from it. This cultural problem combined with poverty means there are many men homeless and and in need of help.
Love Russia partners with a strong team of locals whose life experiences make them the ideal people to help those who arrive at the crisis centre, still struggling in desperate life situations.
This project has grown dramatically during the years we have worked alongside the crisis centre teams; in terms of both the building and facilities as well as the volume of men who have been helped to recover.
With Russia seeing some of the worst statistics of men with addictions and homeless problems, the need for this men's centre is huge.
Donations for the crisis centre contribute towards the general running costs as well as food and essentials like clothing, bedding and medicine. This centre also runs an outreach soup kitchen project two times each week for the local homeless population.
" I am now elderly. I worked my whole adult life then retired. One day I came home to find the locks had been changed by my grown-up children. They said they did not want to live with me anymore because I drank too much and was a bad influence on my grandchildren. I was unaware… but it wasn't up for discussion.
For a long time I lived in the entrance of our tower block, staying close, thinking they might let me come home - they didn't.
I had no money or food. Then I saw a business card about a crisis centre for men called 'House of Mercy'. I made my way there hoping I could eat and get warm.
From the first day I stayed at the Men's Crisis Centre I noticed that there were people who cared about my grief. They listened and offered kind, warm words. I had missed compassion. It was also good to play chess and chat with the other men.
For a long time, I could not forgive my children for throwing me out onto the street. But, with the help of the centre I am getting there. They are teaching me how to give my worries to God, to live better and about forgiveness. Now I do not drink and I can meet my old age quietly and calmly.