There once lived a woman whose name was Lilya. Lilya grew up at an orphanage
The volunteers found a letter from Tolik.
Here's what he writes about Lilya:
Being alone on the street would be very hard. Thank God, I’ve got a girlfriend whose name is Lilya. We have been together for five years in a row. It's not easy for her either. Yesterday she was beaten severely. “Why do they beat me so much?” - she asked. But what can I say to her?
Lilya got married and gave birth to two children, but that was in another life which she has always kept secret from others. Her husband would often beat her. Lilya suffered to the bitter end because she had nowhere to go. But one day she could not stand it anymore, so she bundled up her belongings and closed the door behind her.
Lilya found herself on the street because she had nowhere to go. She had no relatives, friends or acquaintances that could have sheltered her.
Most times, she spent the nights in the underground passage at Turgenevskaya metro station. She was often beaten by other homeless people or local punks. She was a kind, harmless and completely defenseless person.
Fortunately, Lilya quickly got acquainted with volunteers who distributed food and warm clothes for the homeless. She helped them by telling where to look for homeless people who urgently needed aid.
In the underground passage, Lilya met another homeless person whose name was Tolik. They were always seen together and were touchingly caring for each other. When he fell ill, she sought medicine for him. When volunteers handed out sandwiches, she wouldn’t eat them but would rather bring them to Tolik. Tolik tried to intercede for Lilya but would often be offended as well.
In 2006, there was a very cold winter which Lilya did not survive. The life of a homeless person depends on the working shifts of policemen. Not all the policemen kick the homeless out in the cold but Lilya was not so lucky. These were people from the Friends on the Street Foundation who had to identify Lilya’s body. Lilya was buried in the columbarium along with other homeless people.