• 86-90 Paul Street, London, EC2A 4NE

Helping the Homeless in Ukraine


Being homeless is hard in the best of times but in a time of war it can lead to despair. Thankfully, our partners Dima, a social worker, and his wife Olha are full of compassion and loving kindness. They are changing lives to give hope and purpose to those who are on the streets in Kyiv. Dima and Olha have been distributing humanitarian aid and running a mobile kitchen since 2022. Prior to that they were working with people suffering from addiction. They become aware of a particularly needy and vulnerable group – internally displaced, single men who are often ill, disorientated, unemployed, without documents and suffering from addiction. Their vision is for a self-supporting ‘House of Mercy’ where these men can work and break the cycle of addiction supported by people who care. Dima had land and a building which he wanted to purchase and renovate, greenhouses, and plans for pigs and chickens.  DHM provided funds which enabled Dima and Olha to purchase the land and begin to renovate the buildings. One of the first residents was Mykola who was unable to speak after a stroke but who had a good knowledge of agriculture and communicated with gestures and scrawled notes. He was joined by Arkadiy who had recently been released from a tuberculosis hospital. In 2023, DHM sent funds which enabled the House of Mercy to sink a well linked to an electric pump so that the residents could have indoor water during the winter. In spring 2024, funds from DHM enabled Dima and the team to stock up on chickens, pigs and seedlings for vegetable production this summer (see the photos below).

The team also run a Street Feeding Project providing hot food to those who are homeless (the photos below show the distribution of hot meals and humanitarian aid – including food packages from DHM). A short-term rehabilitation house – the Living Stones Project provides a halfway house to the House of Mercy (above) for those caught up in cycles of addiction to alcohol and/or drugs.  There is also a project for children affected by war.

The Community Hub is new project being implemented in 2024/5 which emerged from the successful street feeding programme.  The team realised that, in order to improve the quality of service, it would be essential to have a place open every day where people could come and collect clothes and other vital help; have a hot meal; be given a free haircut and receive physical, social, emotional, psychological and spiritual support. We are supporting Dima and Olha with funds for rent for the Hub which will open as soon as cosmetic repairs are complete. The final three photos below show the team carrying out cosmetic renovations and the Hub in use on a Sunday.


People who are homeless in Ukraine often have mental
health issues, addictions and other challenges and are vulnerable, marginalised
and stigmatised. If you would like to donate, the
link for donations is above this post.

If you or your organisation would like to ‘adopt’ this
project with a regular contribution to support the work or other involvement
please contact our
Chair of Trustees: [email protected]

Written by Melanie Gray, DHM Trustee

Joshua Searle