Old LiAZ-677 and 4 volunteers - is all that is one of the largest cities in the world, until recently, could offer the homeless. Every night in the cold season bus "Mercy", acting under the authority of the Moscow branch of the Russian Orthodox Church, goes on a journey to the most haunts of vice capital baseman - three stations square, Kursk, ring metro station - collecting the homeless and providing first aid to those who need it. If you become homeless in Moscow, you will quickly learn that night - this is the most unpleasant time of day, and traditionally Moscow does not believe tears. At night the temperature drops, shops, where they could wait out the cold, closed, the guards in the metro and train stations are activated, driving the homeless on the streets, and dense urban crowd disappears in warm homes, making their own living wreck particularly evident. After the coldest nights of the police and utilities collect the bodies writhed numb for backyard area of three stations - this is Moscow, which most of its inhabitants do not want to see, walking on the lighted Christmas illuminations luxurious alleys and avenues.
Being homeless in Russia - a stigma. Moral fracture that occurred in Russian society, is clearly visible in the relation to the "homeless". The very word that came from kantselyarita police reports, is one way of dehumanizing the homeless and alienation from them. "Yes, it's not the people are animals!" - Urged me to one of my friends in Moscow. This phrase in different versions I've heard many times in Russia. Another friend - a young man showed a clip that they took with friends and called "Playing with the homeless." In the video, dirty man in rags howled and rolled in the snow, dodging attacks, who generously handed out well-dressed yuppies Moscow. Not knowing how to react, I reached: "How great you are" homeless "make up." He received the proud answer: "And this is true!»
Bus Route "Mercy" by Moscow Khitrovka begins with the Kursk railway station, which is located next to the office of the organization. There are waiting for the bus. As soon as we stop at the back door going dense crowd of homeless, sick and crippled.
Old LiAZ divided by a partition into two parts: the first - for the staff - have a laptop vayfay, coffee, cozy lockers with towels and soft chairs. Behind the iron door - for customers - plain old LiAZ with rugged leatherette seats and the smell of the Soviet nevyvetrivayuschimsya bus. "You're still feel the smell," - promises to the young brigade volunteers chief Mikhail Tereshchenko. With profiles Dzherzhinskogo and cold eyes of his type would be more suitable for use in the organs:
Places at all in the back of the bus there, so you can only take those who need medical care, persons with disabilities and those who are 60 years old. The first on the bus at high stairs trying to get a man on crutches. "That did not take!" - Michael rigidly ordered. But too late - he was already inside and falls on the seat. "I've seen him somewhere - he malingerer and goes" - explains the head of the brigade. Yuri, namely the so-called disabled, protests, supported by other homeless people who say that it is indeed not walking.
Yuri 44 years. 10 years ago, he said, the police broke his leg. Bones fused properly, leading to the fact that he can only walk on crutches. He speaks in a very clean and proper Russian, building complex sentences that captivates and breaks the stereotype of a homeless drunk, inadequate monster. Six months ago, his wife drove. Because he was not registered in her apartment near Moscow, then he had nowhere to go back - so he got to the Kursk. It is actually quite typical algorithm of homelessness in Russia: a person with problems, lack of registration, quarrel with his family or his wife - an area of three stations.
Meanwhile, the team leader requires a needle: "We will chop his feet to see what he's not walking." Yuri hunted looks at me and asks, "Well, do as anything!" His eyes are tears. I can not do anything to help him - I am here myself guest. However, still say, "Michael, you can get closer to the light, when stabbing you? Great picture will turn out! "The attempt failed - head, thought a moment, throws Yuri:" Okay, sit ».
Head coach checks the documents of wanting him to get
Meanwhile, a bus filled with more and more. Everyone - its history, which you can explore the depth of the social catastrophe that befell the Russian society.
Another typical case - Light. Sveta obvious signs of autism and developmental delays. It is poorly versed in space and worse talking. Born into one of the Volga provinces, Light somehow ended up in Moscow without documents. At the station, it is the second year. Such people with mental retardation who really need medical care, have formed the image of the homeless as people who are not able to interact with society. The collapse of a solid system of social protection has led to the fact that such as light, left without care of relatives in the end turn out at railway stations and areas throughout Russia.
40-year-old Simon is a veteran of the Kursk - he lived here for 10 years, which is quite unusual. According to volunteers, long on Moscow railway stations do not stay either die from disease, cold hands or "cleaners" (groups of young people involved in the murders of homeless people), or move on, or simply go missing. Simon helped to get out on the nearby vegetable market and therefore could afford to dress better than others. Eventually Seeds robbed, broke his leg in two places.
The bus is half full to leave room for other stations - the rest will have to find warmth somewhere else. We are moving on - on Komsomolskaya Square. In the brigade "Mercy" in addition to the chief Mikhail includes a bus driver and two paramedics - Leo and Julia. Leo looks like a Soviet physicist of the sixties, of those who once banned reprinted volumes of Blavatsky, and then with the same passion burst into Orthodoxy. And it is perhaps the only one brigade, who truly believe - almost every move he accompanies prayer:
Julia also worked as an anesthetist until retirement in a Moscow hospital, and work in "Mercy" provides a supplement to retirement. Yes, and convenient schedule. Volunteer work was not entirely voluntary - workers "Mercy" is paid 20-25 thousand per month, depending on the amount of duty.
On the way to the station we call from somewhere in the Vernadsky Prospekt. It turns out that the people dissatisfied with the presence of the homeless in their own entrance, can call directly to the "Mercy", so they came and removed the unpleasant phenomenon. Upon arrival, however, it appears that from the homeless were only land on the details Access socks and a pair of battery packs. "Yes, his neighbor drove in trauma," - explains talkative pensioner, who lives in the same house.
On the street the rain mixed with snow - the usual Moscow weather in December. Our LiAZ, strained diesel rumbles slowly making its way through the muddy slush. Driver Nicholas, mustachioed man good 50 years, only grins when we, the signals are cut Lexus and BMW, dissatisfied with our low rate.
While there is time, we make tea and I start a conversation with Julia about faith and soul - the bus all the same Orthodox: "Well, that's so much you have worked in intensive care. Probably seen many times how people die. You feel like an anesthesiologist - a soul or not? »
"You know, I think that some people have, in principle, there is no soul," - she says. "They're like animals. Here goes a man walks like a, like a man, and soul in it - no! That is just an empty shell as it turns »
Yes I Do? This one, for example? "- I asked, already knowing the answer.
"Well, take our children, for example ...»
Upon arrival at the area of the three stations we with Michael and Leo start bypassing in search of homeless sleeping on the street. Inside trying to get out of Vladivostok Alexander. "No place" - Michael categorically cuts. Alexander has 61 years, but only a reference document for release. "39 years spent in the zone!" - With some even he says proudly. Smile wrinkles rays of scatter in the face, giving it both sweet and sly expression. "And what were?" "For the murder of ...»
In Yaroslavl encounter the full woman - apparently from the same category as the Light. That is in a deranged state diagonally right across the roadway. "To sleep in the warmth you want? Heat want? "- Leo hails her. That vague mumbles something. "Go over there to the traffic lights, there is now a bus podedet." Woman dutifully changed course. Leo suddenly recalls and asks Michael: "Hey, wait a minute, and today Thursday, the bus traffic will arise from another?" "Come on it, let him go, at least take a walk." They both laugh.
Two homeless beg chief to take them together - he agreed to take only one
At the gated entrance to the subway on Stalin granite lobby, curled up, lying girl. Michael wakes her hard kick Cop: "Get up! Mercy! »:
"What tries mercy?" - Awake she did not understand, but gradually learns uniforms and said firmly: "I'm not going!»
Michael had just failed a few people in boarding the bus, insists: "Get up, go!" The girl is very pretty. In the bus she does not want under any circumstances. In the end, Michael falls for her on the dirty floor and begins to beg. It can be understood - at the end of the raid bus will stand up in the morning somewhere near Kursk. It is unlikely that someone cares about what will happen in the old stuffed homeless lyase. Girl defends his right to stay in the lobby, and we move on.
The other entrance to the corner of the papers sleeping man with a big black dog. As soon as we approach the dog jumps up and silently showing teeth, protecting the host. Leo still makes hesitant step forward. The dog also steps forward and shows his teeth and growls:
"Well, they nafig, let's go!" - Says Michael. Around on the windowsills of buildings on the sidewalk sleeping people, however, the clock is already 3, and the raid ends.
We park on a side street near the Kursk railway station. The bus will be here till the morning included with the stove, then again to release the passengers on the street. In the distance, the lights are flashing the new Moscow skyscraper. The whole street is lit by billboards and signage. They depict women's dazzling and cold successful handsome. Old bus made crooked inscription "Mercy" seems inappropriate here.