There were many homeless people in Moscow who, on Sunday, February 28, participated in the prayer at the Orthodox parish of Saints Cosmas and Damian in memory of Lilja and other poor people who died in the street. Members of Sant'Egidio have been organizing this event Moscow for fifteen years, after the death by frostbite in the city center of Lilja Zueva, a 44-year-old homeless woman. Members of Sant’Egidio, the poor and many people sensitive and close to the problems of those who live on the street joined in this service. Given the impossibility of setting a lunch at the end of the prayer, due to the pandemic measures, every poor person received a meal at the exit of the Church.
Although state services to support the homeless have increased in recent years, living on the streets of Moscow is extremely hard, especially in winter, when temperatures, as this year, have reached thirty degrees below zero. In 2020, beginning with the months of total lockdown, the Community of Sant’Egidio in Moscow doubled its services to the homeless, particularly street distributions, which became more frequent and plentiful. In addition, a second day center for the poor was opened in the fall, where people can receive clothes and groceries.