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Kalyn.Home - supported living (group home) for disabled persons

September 14, 2022, 20:00 294 Author: Albert Pavlov We give people with disabilities a chance to get out of state institutions and live a normal life

In Ukraine and other countries of the former USSR, there are sad places called "PNI" - psycho-neurological internats (mental institutions) for adults with mental and physical disabilities. I first visited them in 2007 and was shocked by what I saw. Innocent people with various forms of disability are doomed to live in closed institutions for life. Cramped conditions, lack of personal space, leisure, and privacy, terrible medical care, restrictions on movement, and general poverty are only a small part of the problems of PNIs.

We witnessed more than 30 adult inmates staying in a gloomy room with gray walls for days on end, staring at a broken TV. As bedridden inmates, they had not been outside for years and had not left the walls of the smoky 9-square-meter room for four. From the doctors' stories, we know how several hospitals refused to serve their cancer patients. We saw an exhausted nurse who was left alone during the night shift to supervise 40 men with mental disorders.

Over the years, I have seen that most people do not know and do not want to notice the problems of the residents of the PNI. Few ordinary people, as well as officials and deputies, have ever visited these institutions. Many people believe that some crazy and terrible people live in PI, dangerous to society. And so it is logical to isolate them as much as possible. That is why most of the PNIs are located in the most remote villages.

Who live in the state mental institutioons (PNIs) in Ukraine?

In fact, people with different diagnoses live in the PNI. For example, a guy with cerebral palsy who is bedridden can end up there. Or people with Down syndrome. Or with a mild form of mental retardation. There are not so many people with schizophrenia and acute psychiatric disorders. But the most important thing is that all these features do not turn a person into an animal or a plant. Residents of the PNI, like all people, rejoice and grieve, fall in love, sing, dance, work and rest. You can communicate, make friends, and work with them. You just need to visit such an orphanage at least once to see for yourself.

Mental institutions (PNI) during the war in Ukraine

With the outbreak of active war in Ukraine in February 2022, the situation in the PNI deteriorated catastrophically. These institutions were not ready for evacuation, and in the first days dozens of institutions ended up in the occupied territory, some were shelled, isolated from the outside world, and had huge problems with the delivery of medicines. Those who managed to evacuate were forced to place their inhabitants in the institutions in safer regions of Ukraine. The result was a huge problem with overcrowding, staff shortages, and insufficient funding.

What we have already managed to do

Over the past years, we (the Happy Child foundation and Helpus foundation) have created 3 cozy houses for the disabled children/young men of the orphanage. Here, 7 to 12 children or young adults were able to live in more comfortable conditions in a family-like environment. We visited dozens of orphanages and PNIs in Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts with concerts and various events. We organized many tourist events for these people. We participated in the supervisory public councils at three mental institutions. We helped during the evacuation of one of the large institution. We paid for the work of additional staff and a social worker for creative activities with inhabitants. We helped to purchase medicines and medical equipment and supported the work of doctors.

It is in our power to change the system!

(Project Kalin.Home)

We are currently calling for support for the creation of assisted living facilities in Ukraine.

Kalin.Home is:

- a cozy house designed to accommodate 10 former residents of the state institution (rented or owned by the foundation)

- friendly staff;

- improved food and medical care compared to the PNI;

- assistance of a social worker in employment and social adaptation;

- no isolation from society;

- to the extent possible, residents serve themselves, with the support of assistants;

- openness to the public, a board of trustees and the help of volunteers;

- full financial transparency of activities.

One of the assisted living facilities we created in the village of Lyubmivka, Zaporizhzhia Oblast

Initially, our homes will focus on able-bodied children with mental or physical disabilities who have self-care skills and do not exhibit aggressive or antisocial behavior. Future homes may be able to accommodate people with more severe disabilities.

Each new assisted (supported) living facility provides, or group home provides:

- a new life for 10 people with disabilities (this is the main task!)

- 6 new jobs for Ukrainian citizens;

- monthly tax revenues to the budget from the payroll;

- reduction of overcrowding in state institutions.

In addition to creating assisted living facilities, we work in the following areas

- Supporting the initiatives of volunteers, foundations and the management of residential institutions to improve life in these institutions, primarily in the creation of supported living units;

- development of a system of public councils at institutions and involvement of volunteers and civil society organizations;

- support for the employment of caregivers in residential institutions;

- lobbying for the optimization of the work of residential institutions and the creation of a system of assisted living at the state level.

Yevhen, a resident of the assisted living facility, prepares lunch

Eugene, Sasha, Maxim for the New Year - 2019

Children visiting Sasha at his birthday party

How to help

Stable financing is very important for the stable operation of the project. After all, opening another house, we have no right to close it due to financial problems. Therefore, we would be grateful if you could support the project with your MONTHLY charitable contributions. In turn, we guarantee full financial statements, photo reports and are always glad to see you!

In addition, you can help

- as a volunteer to raise funds or work with the residents of the houses;

- provide suitable housing for free or low-cost rent;

- help with the purchase or construction of the houses;

- donate furniture, household or computer equipment, or a car for the shelter;

- provide all possible assistance with food;

- recreation centers, hotels, cultural institutions - to help with rehabilitation or leisure activities;

- install a container for collecting donations;

- become a volunteer in the nearest to you PNI;

- help in providing medical and dental care to the residents of the houses.

We are always happy to answer any questions you may have. Please, contact us!

Reports on this project

Helpus foundation helps Ukrainian people with disabilities and serious illnesses since 2013

They need your help:
Olga Khorlikova
Olga Khorlikova


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