Minister of Labor and Social Policy visited shelter for homeless people at Caritas Ruse

Minister of Labor and Social Policy, Mr. Biser Petkov, visited on June 10 the shelter for homeless people “The Good Samaritan” in Ruse. The visit was organized at the invitation of Ruse Municipality and the charity organization Caritas Ruse, which has provided this social service as a state delegated activity for five years and it has been benefited hundreds of homeless people from all over the country. The Minister was accompanied by Ruse MP Andriyan Raykov and the Director of the Social Activities Directorate in Ruse Mrs. Mariela Licheva.

Mr. Petkov started his visit with a hearty handshake to all the homeless people who were in the shelter, impressed by their various stories and getting familiar with the living conditions and all the activities for and with the service users.

The guests also visited the Center for Social Rehabilitation and Integration for Homeless People, which is also run by Caritas Ruse and is located in the same municipal building. Apart from the gymnasium, occupational therapy and ergotherapy, the vegetable garden and greenhouses where a large part of the homeless people work and rehabilitate were of particular interest.

At a meeting with the teams of the two services and with the Executive Director of Caritas Ruse, Mr. Stefan Markov, the Minister and his Deputy were also acquainted with some of the problems of the Shelter service: scarce state funding, which is mechanically assimilated to a temporary accommodation center, the short legal term (3 months per year) when homeless people can officially stay in the shelter, and the requirement that the shelter be vacant during the day. Both Minister Petkov and Deputy Minister Raykov have committed to cooperating on these issues.

At the end of the visit guests were bid farewell with souvenirs made by the homeless people at the “Good Samaritan” shelter and the Center for Social Rehabilitation and Integration.