Depaul Croatia Advent fundraising campaign called Homeless for One Night was successfully held from November 29 to December 31 2020. The various contents of the action aimed to raise public awareness of the problem of homelessness. The severity of homelessness is particularly pronounced during the winter months, and especially during the extraordinary circumstances of a coronavirus epidemic. The challenging and uncertain times we live in testify that homelessness can happen to anyone and that everyone may need someone else’s help.
The Advent campaign consisted of three main parts. The first part took place via social networks where participants after a sleepless night outside their bed (on the couch, floor, tent, shelter, under the stairs or table, etc.) posted a photo and shared their experience on their FB / Instagram profile with the hashtag #homelessforonenight , invited friends to do the same and, according to their abilities, donated to the users of Depaul Croatia by paying into the account of the humanitarian action. It was one of the ways to support, sympathise and reflect on everything that our fellow citizens living in the most difficult living conditions are struggling with and facing.
The second part, as well as the central event of the Advent action, took place on December 5, entitled “One Night Under the Stars 2”. This traditional Depaul Croatian outdoor sleeping event is specifically aimed at street homelessness. This year, six participants, in compliance with all epidemiological measures, slept in the yard of the day center for the homeless at Haven House. The TV program “One Night Under the Stars 2”, which started at 5 pm, was attended by TV presenter of the Ri Channel Larry Ambrozich and the president of the Heart of Rijeka Association Dalibor Horvat, preparing a lunch for about sixty users of Haven House, which was distributed the next day. After cooking a hot meal, the participants got acquainted with the activities of Haven House and work with the homeless, and went to bed outdoors at 10 p.m. The next day, the joint morning began at 6 a.m. and was filled with strong impressions and testimonies from the participants. The night spent under the stars again this year fulfilled its goal of sensitising the public about what people on the margins of society experience on a daily basis.
The third part of the campaign enabled participation in Advent weekends with Depaul Croatia: “Pray and work – meditate and volunteer.” Various contents during the mentioned three weekends in the Advent were related to the three basic programs of Depaul Croatia: the program “House of Refuge”, the program H-Garden and the program Depaul on the Streets. The number of participants was limited to five people per weekend who signed up via the google forms form according to the area of interest. During the Advent weekends, through the prepared activities, the participants got acquainted with the activities and services offered by Haven House, the H-garden project and outreach work on the city streets. In addition to work activities and volunteering, an integral part of Advent weekends was prayer and meditation. Complete Advent weekends provided participants with an introduction to Depaul Croatia, spiritual renewal, the experience of meeting the homeless and the opportunity to volunteer.
In addition to the above events, the Advent action was marked by the donation of funds, services, material supplies, various ways of involvement, openness, joint action, cooperation, good ideas and initiatives. The Advent campaign Homeless for One night ended on December 31, 2020, and a total of HRK 37,705.85 was collected for the users of the Haven House.