Homelessness can have many causes
A lot of people seem to think that being homeless is the result of a series of bad choices. He or she chose to start using drugs, he or she didn’t want to work etc. In reality, this is rarely the case. Most of the homeless people you see in the streets have once lead normal lives. They’ve had ordinary jobs, a family, friends and a bright future.
But things happen. Someone gets sick, someone experiences the loss of someone close to them. For various reasons, people break down from time to time, and can’t cope with day-to-day life. Most of the time, they get help from loved ones, or from society. But some people don’t, or the help they’re given is not enough. Being in a downward spiral is tough, especially when you are weak and vulnerable. Some people end up in the street, where they are looked upon by the rest of us as somebody who has him- or herself to blame. This is a terrible situation, and a lot of people look to drugs and alcohol to ease the pain, which of course makes the situation even worse.
How many people are homeless?
According to Yale University, it is estimated that there are around 150 million homeless people around the world. That’s two percent of the world’s population. In Sweden, the estimated number of homeless people is 36,000, which serves as proof that homelessness is a problem for wealthy nations as well as poor.
Homelessness is largely an urban problem. For the last hundred years, billions of people have moved from the countryside into the world’s cities to look for work and shelter, and some people argue that homelessness is a problem that can never be solved, since the cities can never build enough housing for everyone.
About Kavian Ferdowsi and Hemlösa.se
Kavian Ferdowsi came to Sweden from Iran in 2008. The first three years he lived as a homeless person in Stockholm. As hard as this was, Kavian still found strength in the community of homeless people, and when he managed to get his life back on the right track, he decided that he wanted to dedicate his life to make the lives of homeless people better.
Kavian founded Hemlösa.se, a voluntary organization that works every day of the year to help the homeless. Every morning at 6:30, our volunteers serve breakfast in a street in central Stockholm, donated by nearby restaurants and cafés. We try to make sleeping arrangements for as many people as possible, and hand out clothes, sleeping bags, medicine, toothbrushes etc.
A way back into society
We believe that homelessness is not the end of the road. There is a way back to a normal life for everyone. But it takes strength, and to gain strength you need help. Somebody who show you that they care, who helps you get food and clothes and, perhaps most of all, tell you that things can get better.
Hemlösa.se is an organization who helps homeless people in the streets of Stockholm. But we want to do more than just provide help. We dream of a world in which homelessness doesn’t exist, and where anyone who loses the roof over their heads gets help right away. We believe there should be a department and a minister of homelessness in every country. Because, while helping on a basic scale can do a lot of good, the problem of homelessness can never be sold without political actions.
Raising money without intermediaries
Hemlösa.se is a non-profit organization. That means the organization is dependent on people who dedicate parts of their lives to work for free, and on the money donated to us. There are no intermediaries, which means that all the money that is donated can be used directly to provide help to the homeless, unlike other charity organizations where parts of the donations always goes to the organization itself. This makes Hemlösa.se a very efficient help organization, but also vulnerable, since we are heavily dependent on the public and their will to help.
A day to focus on the homeless
On Homeless International Day, we want the world to consider the situation of homeless people, not just in their own city, but all around the world. A world where everyone has a roof over their head is a better world for everyone, and there is enough money in the world to make this possible.
Perhaps you have an idea of how you, your business or your organization can contribute to help the homeless? Please contact us and we’ll have a meeting. We are always open to new ideas, solutions and cooperations and we would love your help in any way you can contribute.
See you on Homeless International Day!