The NGO Hus Forbi wanted to remind Danes that Christmas and wintertime is a tough period for the homeless people. To support the homeless, we helped create a quite untraditional Christmas decoration: snow globes with homeless people.
While Danes struggled to accept social restrictions during the COVID pandemic, a more vulnerable group (the homeless Danes) struggled to get through the challenges of the winter. Winter is always hard for homeless people, but the pandemic didn’t make it any easier.
Many daycare facilities, drop-in centres, and social gathering points closed or restricted their activities for healthcare reasons. Even the annual event for the homeless people on Christmas Eve was cancelled.
Moreover, the growing fear of getting close to strangers during the pandemic had major consequences for the homeless’ physical magazine ‘Hus Forbi’, which they sell on the street. Sales declined dramatically–to put it mildly.
But one thing is newspaper sales. Another thing is the daily contact with other people that was suddenly missing too.At Hus Forbi, they thus wanted to remind the Danes that Christmas is far from idyllic for the homeless people. And that we can all help make their winter just a little bit warmer.
"Eye contact and a smile can save the day for many of our salespeople in the street. In addition to making money by selling the newspaper, the daily contact with customers is just as much joy in their everyday life. As a homeless person, you are automatically isolated from a large part of society. So, we have a prayer for everyone who meets a homeless person in the near future: Say hello and smile - eye contact and a smile can save the day for most people."Rasmus Wexøe Kristensen, Head of Secretariat at Hus Forbi
To focus on the homeless who are outside all winter and struggle with increased isolation and loneliness due to the pandemic, we helped Hus Forbi make three symbolic snow globes.
3D scanning and printing of three selected homeless people (Davis, Harald, Jens and his dog, Malte) created the figures inside the snow globes. Each snow globe tells a short personal story about how they have coped with rough winters as homeless, why Christmas can be particularly harsh, and how you can help when you meet them or other homeless people on the street.
We sent the snow globes to politicians, the media and selected influencers as a reminder that the cosy holiday is a tough time for the homeless.
- The Danish parliament gave an immediate 5.000.000 kr. to create additional temporary shelters.
- The assembly restrictions for the homeless Christmas dinners were lifted, meaning that no homeless Danes would have to spend the COVID Christmas outside in the cold.