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A Place to Call Home
by Julie Cramer
Posted on Monday, January 07, 2013
Four hours outside St. Petersburg is Tikhvin Transitional Home—a new transition home in the village of Tikhvin. For eight young adults who have “graduated” out of the orphan system in Russia, Tikhvin Transitional Home is a place to call home while they get on their feet.

Orphan Outreach worked with the orphanage to renovate part of the facility
into this hostel of sorts, and Lena Vasilieva—Orphan Outreach’s director of Russia programs—is spearheading the efforts.



“Tikhvin Transitional Home is a hostel for graduates in difficult life situations,” she said. “They can come and stay if they do not have any other place to go. Most of them need help getting apartments from the state, and that is a long process. Many of them go to school in St. Petersburg, but they have to come back to Tikhvin to collect the missing papers and apply for housing. They do not have any other place to go when they come back ‘home.’” Others attend vocational schools, which do not offer housing.

“Many girls get pregnant after school and need help with the babies,” Lena added. “So, Tikhvin Transitional Home will have a room for mothers with babies. Usually it is in the first year when they need the most help.”

Another young woman is living at Tikhvin Transitional Home—one whom Amy Norton, director of programs for Orphan Outreach, said is bright, intelligent, and fluent in English—because no secondary school will admit her because she is HIV-positive.

Orphan Outreach is partnering with church-goers in Tikhvin to support these orphan graduates. As soon as funding becomes available, Lena and church volunteers would like to offer a Bible study for the young adults as well as a course on social skills.

The program is designed to allow four boys and four girls to stay for two months at a time, but they may stay longer if necessary. The graduates are responsible for their own grocery shopping, cooking, and daily tasks.

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