The first was Krakow, now joined by Poznan and Warsaw. It is in these cities that local governments have decided to open intervention hostels for LGBT+ people in crisis of homelessness.
TheLGBT+ hostel is a place where all those affected by violence based on sexual orientation will be able to find shelter and psychological care. The initiative is aimed largely at young people who have decided to disclose their orientation and have faced rejection. Often, fearing for their own safety, they cannot return to their permanent place of residence, and their young age precludes them from renting an apartment or room on their own. Hostels are meant to offer essential shelter and help in such situations.
LGBT-free zones are one manifestation of growing discrimination
photo by Bart Staszewski
None of the hostels, however, will be on the map or find address information. To prevent attacks or harassment, the information will not be made public. Those in need of support will receive it after e-mail or telephone contact.
The first city in Poland to launch an intervention hostel is Krakow. The place is run by the Voice of the Heart Foundation and co-financed by the City of Krakow. Funds for operation have been provided until the end of 2022. The Krakow hostel has 12 rooms, a kitchen, bathrooms and laundry facilities. The wards will also receive psychological assistance, which is expected to help them achieve independence and a sense of security in society as soon as possible. The length of stay at the facility is not limited. Before receiving funding from the city budget, the hostel was financed from the Voice of the Heart Foundation's own funds. However, the Municipality's support will help stabilize its operation.
Photo: Karolina Halik
A slightly different model was adopted in Poznań. The solution worked out as part of the work of the Commission for Civil Dialogue at the mayor's plenipotentiary for equality policy, includes pilot operation of an intervention apartment. The operator of this place will be selected in a competition announced by the city , to which non-governmental organizations can apply. The opening of the intervention apartment is the realization of demands coming both from specialists from NGOs, but also from the city's social welfare institutions. In the first phase, it will operate for nine months until the end of 2021.
The creation of the capital's hostel will be the realization of the first point of the Warsaw LGBT+ Declaration prepared by the Love Does Not Exclude Association and signed on February 18, 2019 by Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski. As in Poznań, a competition for the operator of the place has been announced. The responsibilities of the organization that wins the proceedings will include the organization of 24-hour shelter and intervention support for LGBT+ people in the form of assisted training apartments in Warsaw. The settlement of the proceedings is scheduled for April, and the first applicants will be able to take advantage of the assistance as early as June 2021.
Photo by Kacper Kepinski