A Russian charity organization has set up monthly screenings at an outdoor movie theater for the city’s sizeable homeless population. The audience votes on what it wants to watch; opening night viewers opted for the 1965 Soviet slapstick film “Operation Y and Shurik’s Other Adventures.”
The homeless were offered a hot meal before the screening, and an opportunity to discuss their problems. Another organization plans to open a full-service beauty salon offering free services to those living on the streets.
Although Russia’s homeless population has dropped since the 1990s, it is still quite large, making up 3.5% of the country’s population, according to government statistics, and totaling 50,000 in Moscow. One homeless man, Zhenya Yakut, started a popular YouTube channel where he recounts his daily life on the city’s streets, taking viewers through manholes as he searches for a place to sleep.