How frequently do we see homeless people at the traffic signals or railway stations? We really feel sad for them and do whatever we can to help them. But does this really solve their primary problem of homelessness? Sadly, it doesn’t. Fortunately, a social enterprise by the name Street has come forward with an initiative of helping the homeless in our city.
As per Street’s records, there are more than 1000 homeless people in the city. Most of them are found at the railway station and the RTC Complex. Some are even found at the NAD and Gajuwaka junctions. While there are many reasons for them being homeless, drug addiction is the predominant one.
Street was the brainchild of Gayatri Racherla who’s an Engineering graduate. After getting to know the problems of the homeless, she wanted to help them and approached her friend Shiva Karan (co founder). Shiva helped her carve out a plan and implement it effectively. Eventually, Street was started in July 2016 and has recently completed its 1st anniversary. This organization is currently 200 members strong and growing from strength to strength.
Right from its inception, Street has organized many programs to help the needy. They collect leftover food from any party or a function and distribute it among the poor. They even collect unused goods. The organisers even conduct frequent rehab drives to help the drug addicts.
Street mainly focuses on providing some kind of employment to the homeless. They try to utilize any situation to create a potential job opportunity for them.
Currently, they are developing their website and app. The app, which is almost completed, will prove to be a major boost in helping them achieve their goal. Once available, it will help the volunteers as well the citizens identify the homeless in different localities. They even plan to make it possible for anyone to start their own ‘Street’ in their area through a feature called playbook.
On this friendship day, the Street teams wants the Vizagites to tie a friendship band to a homeless person to make a difference in their life. You can send them your selfie with your new friend and they’ll upload it on their facebook page.
Currently, Street is trying to collaborate with some companies in order to raise funds required to help the homeless. Any interested individual can contribute funds or even offer his/her services as a volunteer.
Also, one important suggestion Gayatri gives to people is not to help the homeless by giving them money. This is because, many of them are not genuine and hence, helping them in kind would be a better option.
To know further details, you can contact 7032492201.