The Smiles Foundation has worked with the Homeless in Oradea (NW Romania) for more than 12 years in one way or another. Now the project can provide a comprehensive service with a Project Manager, Raul Gherle, Social Worker Ioana Pop, a Doctor and a Psychologist and many other important services to support those faced without a roof over their head or food on their table. Actually these people do not have a table!
“The worst thing of all is when they patronise you and make you feel handicapped”, says one of our Homeless beneficiaries. “Nobody believes that you actually can do something, that you can be someone and that you can break the vicious circle that has been gaining momentum for years. After so long, you start to believe yourself that there is no way out”.
Since 2005, several of Smiles staff had been involved with Homelessness, but no one had been able to make it their main focus with a commitment to the Homeless people above other considerations. Since the City Mayor’s Office in Oradea heard of our Container Village programme, we have established a ‘Partnership’ in caring for the Homeless and providing options for their future.
Therefore, a significant Project was established in 2011 which involved major financial resources but most important of all – a person with vision and compassion who would be committed to these people who live every day with great needs. Once again, as we have faced many times in Smiles, it seemed an impossible task.
The Container Challenge captured hearts around the world and with support across the United Kingdom and America. £50,000 ($75,000) was invested in Containers and Conversions to provide the first Module at the Container Village of 9 units. Six are for accommodation plus two for Hygiene facilities and one is used as a ‘Day Centre’ for meetings, counselling and office responsibilities.
We thank God for the opportunity provided when Raul Gherle joined Smiles in July 2011 to manage the Homeless Project. Raul comes with tremendous experience in Social Care and a heart for those in need.
Everyday can be an emotional rollercoaster working with people who face incredible hardships, struggling to survive without shelter, food and suitable clothes. This crisis is not reserved for adults and when children are involved, the emotional pain is even greater.
In addition to the Container Village which provides shelter for up to 50 people, Raul and his team support up to a further 50 still living rough on the streets. Under bridges, in derelict buildings, by hot water pipes and many other horrifying situations that need our urgent attention.
As you might imagine, the needs are endless and every day we are faced with heartbreaking decisions of who we can help and to what extent we can intervene. We need finance to enable us to reach out to these people – the men, women and children who have no place to call home.
With an estimated 450 homeless people in Oradea, Smiles is reaching around 20%. We don’t want to limit our dreams for the future. We have the skills, we have the heart and we hope that we will persuade others to join our efforts. We have testified over the years to so many broken lives being fixed with this miracle medicine called “love”.
In the Smiles Foundation – we have enough for everybody!
We trust and pray for support to fulfil our dreams.
IF I WAS HOMELESS …………WOULD YOU HOUSE ME?
Please help with supporting the Project Operating Costs which are £2,076 / $2,700 per month.
Donate via Paypal to Homeless Project £