Sunday, July 3, 2011

Homeless Alone: 'Cute orphans' grow into desperate adults

From the video's description:
Every orphan dreams of their own family and home. However, many Russians who grew up in orphanages have their dreams shattered when they see the housing which they are entitled to from the state. Dank, dark and dilapidated: a flat which orphan graduate Elena Zatelepina received from the government when she turned 18 looks more like a prime candidate for demolition than a family home. Still, the 22-year-old mother of the two has been told by social services that she is stuck here. "Perhaps they have not seen this place inside," she said. "They keep telling us to repair it somehow and live here." "They showed me a paper on 'how to build a house'. I told them that I had no funds," Elena added. "I have no job, I have to take care of kids and I ended up renting a place. They said 'It is not our problem'." Elena grew up in an orphanage in the city of Tver. Under Russian law she was to receive state housing once she left the institution. The flat proposed to Elena used to belong to her mother, and despite having no money, she has been told to fix it up. The situation is absolutely desperate," Elena said. "They do not give me work because I do not have a profession. For them I do not exist. Perhaps hanging myself would be the best thing to do." Elena's case is not unusual. Those who work with orphanages in Russia say that it is when they leave the care homes that they need most help.

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