At the beginning of January, in Lviv, the “Safe Place” shelter began its work. This shelter is located in the downtown, at Solomii Krushelnytskoii st., 3, which is very convenient for resolving organizational issues. Anna Horkun, curator of shelter support, tells about the features of the shelter and the services that residents can get at ICF “Alliance for Public Health”.

Is there a need to open shelters in Ukraine?

Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, the issue of temporary accommodation for people who have lost their homes has been acute. According to Situation Reports – OCHA, about 11.2 million people in Ukraine need emergency support with housing and basic necessities. Another 1.7 million people have winter-related needs, including solid fuel and heating appliances.


Unfortunately, due to the systematic shelling and, as a result, the lack of energy resources and heating in many regions, the need for shelters is only increasing.
I cooperate with twenty-five shelters throughout Ukraine, these shelters are coordinated by the Alliance for Public Health. We help their development, but it is clear that this is not the general picture throughout Ukraine. With the onset of cold weather and the beginning of active shelling of the energy system, the need for temporary housing has increased sharply, because now even those people who have housing are in a situation where they do not have heating and electricity for a long time and, in fact, the housing becomes unusable. Accordingly, the need for temporary accommodation in a place where all this is available is becoming more and more relevant.

The “Safe Place” shelter provides “peer-to-peer” services!

According to the data of the Department of Social Protection of the Lviv City Council, in 2022 Lviv became one of the largest reception centers for internally displaced persons. More than 5 million people passed through the city and about 200,000 people stayed to live in Lviv.

Even before the opening of the shelter, it was decided that we would provide the opportunity for IDPs to work in it. All employees of the shelter are people who moved to Lviv in connection with the war. They understand very well the psychology of shelter guests (residents), and how to provide support, share the pain and suffering of another person, and they speak the same language. It is very important. This is such empathy.


In addition, it is the creation of new jobs, because now it is very difficult to find a job, especially in such crowded cities as Lviv. And we want to continue to support the creation of job opportunities for IDPs and the provision of peer-to-peer services. This is the advantage of this shelter.
The shelter in the center of Lviv is special, it is a pilot project that will create general standards and rules for the provision of such services for the operation of shelters in Ukraine, which the Alliance plans to open in other cities in 2023.

Where is it located and how to get there?

At the beginning of the war, I was a volunteer in Lviv and helped resettle people who came from different parts of Ukraine. At that time, there was no question of comfortable living, all premises that could be equipped for temporary living quarters were used. I saw the conditions people lived in at the beginning of the war, I saw how difficult it was. It is extremely difficult physically to come from Mariupol and after such difficult experiences to get the opportunity to live in insufficiently adapted conditions for life. That is why i tried very hard to create the conditions that would maximally promote adaptation, the ability to recover faster and build the life further. Therefore, the conditions in the shelter are quite good: there are a large number of bathrooms, high-quality beds, bed linen, there is an opportunity to prepare your own food and receive expert advice.


When choosing the future place of our shelter, we focused on making it convenient for people to get there by both intercity and city transport. Currently, the “Safe Place” shelter is located almost in the very center of Lviv, opposite Ivan Franko Park, at Solomii Krushelnytskoii St., 3, – not far from main points, such as: train stations, medical facilities, structures where you can receive services (renewal of documents, social assistance).
The shelter operates in the format of a hostel with all amenities. Accommodation and food are free, and the shelter can accommodate 21 people at a time. It has 8 rooms for accommodation, as well as separate rooms for providing consulting services and for conducting various master classes. We have separate family rooms and a room for families with small children with an additional bathroom. At the moment, the maximum period of stay in the shelter is 2 weeks. Currently, meetings are being held with potential partners who will provide hot lunches for residents of the shelter.

Contact information of the ‘Safe Place’ shelter:
Lviv, Solomii Krushelnytskoii str., 3 (near Ivan Franko park), 4th floor. If you would like to get accommodation at the shelter, please fill in the form:
Social networks:

What services are available while staying at the shelter?

The shelter will operate as an information hub providing consultations with lawyers, psychologists, social workers and, if necessary, medical counseling for members of key populations which are vulnerable for HIV, involving Help24 online platform.

We will also conduct active informational work that will help people as much as possible in adaptation, finding housing and work. For example, advice on writing a curriculum vitae. In the future, it is planned to organize the possibility of signing a declaration with a doctor in order to receive medical assistance.


Another important service which is provided by the shelter is the conducting of creative lectures and master classes. Such measures are a very important component of adaptation in stressful situations. When a person diligently does something with his hands, he frees his thoughts for a while. And in the current situation, it is simply necessary to clear the head of difficult thoughts and feelings.
Even before the opening of the shelter, in a closed format, we held a test master class on making Vytynanky (cutouts). It was not by chance that this particular activity was chosen, since small motor skills exercises greatly distract a person from constantly reading the news. Also, on the day of the official opening of the shelter, a master class on creating a “dream house” from gingerbread was held for children from different parts of Ukraine who currently live in Lviv.
Since this project is a pilot project, we should use it to see what services are really relevant, in demand and what can be recommended to people and other shelters which are operating in Ukraine.

“Alliance for Public Health” will expand the humanitarian support program in Ukraine
“The war continues, so the need for shelters will only grow. Currently, in Ukraine, many shelters for IDPs are already functioning and many more will be opened. All of them differ in the format of services, term and conditions of residence. Our approach is slightly different from the classic one (just to provide a ceiling over the head) – we aim to help IDPs with rehabilitation in a short period of time. First of all, we have very comfortable living conditions and friendly staff from among IDPs who are already oriented in Lviv and have gone through rehabilitation. Secondly, on the basis of our shelter, a wide range of services will be provided for children and adults, which will help to recover physically and psychologically, and to plan further life in a calm atmosphere”, – says Slava Kushakov, senior advisor of ICF “Alliance for Public Health”.

He also shared the immediate plans for the implementation of the project “Integrated Humanitarian Response in Conditions of War and Post-War Reconstruction”, which is implemented with the financing of UKAID and the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) and with the technical support and coordination of the Christian Aid charity organization. According to his words, the “Alliance for Public Health” will continue to expand the humanitarian support program in Ukraine. Currently, work is underway to launch 3 mobile clinics. One of them is mobile somatology, which is already being converted. Also, it is planned to provide 125 mini-grants and 400 grants of multi-purpose financial assistance for the urgent needs of households. Cooperation with shelters will continue, as part of their activities, necessary services will be provided for about 10,000 people who live there.
Slava Kushakov emphasized that, whatever happens, the Alliance and its regional partners will continue to work despite numerous challenges, risks to life and health to solve the urgent problems of Ukrainians!
It should be noted that since the beginning of summer, the Alliance for Public Health, in response to the humanitarian crisis which is caused by Russia’s military aggression in Ukraine, launched a comprehensive program of humanitarian support in the conditions of war and post-war reconstruction of the country. The main directions are support for representatives of vulnerable communities, aimed at ensuring urgent humanitarian, social and medical needs and a worthy life in crisis conditions, through the implementation of crisis response measures.
For 8 months, vigorous activities have been carried out within the framework of the large-scale project “Integrated Humanitarian Response in Conditions of War and Post-War Reconstruction”. Through joint efforts, together with 24 NGOs, it was possible to quickly and effectively deploy activities in 16 regions of Ukraine. Only in the first 3 months of work, 75,271 people received the necessary assistance, including IDPs, families with children, people with disabilities, representatives of groups who are vulnerable to HIV infection.