"To keep them warm"

By Nina, volunteer from Ashdod

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The has winter arrived quickly and suddenly, as it always does in Israel. For those who live on the street, it is a difficult time. Even if they have got some kind of shelter for the night, during the day they roam the streets for hours, often sitting down right upon the pavement.

When someone cannot steal and has already got no strength to work, he just becomes a beggar. In the worst case, he falls asleep in the cold. Then he looks like a person in a coma. His legs and arms are terribly twisted and pressed down by the body, but he does not even feel that. Former street girls say you can lose your limb like that, there have been cases…

When our volunteers see such a person, they immediately approach and try to awaken him. They call him to come to Aviv Center and eat. There, while he is eating, he is warming up and can listen to us. Street people say: "It is like getting into another world".

Clothes are also important. To keep themselves warm on the street, the addicts have got only one option: to put on several layers of clothing. Their legs, of course, still freeze. In Aviv Center we give them second hand clothes, hot tea, coffee and, of course, soup. In winter we always put a plate of peeled garlic on the table; it protects against colds and flu.

When you are warm, when there is a roof over your head, when you have got enough food, you feel even more concerned about those who are now on the streets, unprotected, wandering in the dark. “Dear Lord, keep them until the morning, when the center opens again”, I pray, “Let them survive this night, because tomorrow will bring new hope. Tomorrow may become their day of salvation”.

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