All aboard the FriendShip: New platform connects Prague's homeless with volunteers

A new project from the Help Prague’s Homeless group wants to provide aid to a larger proportion of the homeless community. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 24.09.2021 20:00:00 (updated on 26.09.2021) Reading time: 2 minutes

Life for Prague’s homeless community is hard, but there are ways to help. A number of organizations exist providing goods and services to help improve the situation facing homeless people, and schemes are being introduced to allow people to help through donations.

Now, the Help Prague’s Homeless organization is launching a new platform to provide support for a wider community. FriendShip Prague is a united community of Czechs, expats, and homeless people coming together to connect over shared experiences.

The Help Prague’s Homeless Facebook group will remain a platform for volunteers and nonprofit organizations. FriendShip Prague is a new organization with its own program for the provision of goods and services to homeless people, including at 2 hostels: Sophie’s Hostel, accommodating 64 men and women, and the women’s-only Amadeus, accommodating 30 female residents.

While providing essential services, food and clothes, FriendShip Prague also focuses on providing vital social connections, friendship and advice. With an emphasis on restoring a sense of dignity to those in need, the organization aims to launch a Day Center Ship as the beating heart of its operations. The Center would organize regular activities and events with volunteers, while providing counselling services and a restaurant employing homeless people.

People receive donations at a 'Help Prague’s Homeless' Christmas event last year. (photo: Help Prague’s Homeless)
People receive donations at a 'Help Prague’s Homeless' Christmas event last year. (photo: Help Prague’s Homeless)

“We are continuously working towards our goal of opening the Day Center Ship, but this will take time and, most importantly, financial resources which we do not currently possess. In the meantime, we are seeking a more temporary office to store extra clothing and goods donated by volunteers,” said FriendShip Prague.

“People can support us to turn this dream into a reality by making an online financial contribution,” they added.

FriendShip Prague is set to launch a new initiative, called the CZK 20 Program. This initiative will see bars, restaurants and shops asked to become members of the FriendShip network, with donors asked to eat or shop at one of these partner businesses. Shoppers and diners will have the option to add CZK 20 to their bill, to go towards funding for programs and resources for the city’s homeless community.

With Covid making in-person programs difficult to carry out, emphasis is also being placed on events, to which volunteers are always welcome.

“For larger-scale events, we are planning to organize opportunities for members of the homeless community to showcase their art work, music, and photography at various locations throughout the city. We are also planning city tours, led by residents of our hostels who are keen to share their personal stories of homelessness,” said FriendShip Prague.

With pandemic restrictions lifted, FriendShip Prague is looking forward to new programs and events. The establishment of this platform provides a new opportunity for the public to help improve the lives of homeless people in the Czech capital.

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