Hundreds of thousands of people in Germany are homeless, tens of thousands lives on the streets. Lack of affordable housing, refugee crisis, precarious employment – the number of homeless people in Germany has risen dramatically in recent years and has various reasons. An official statistic homelessness Berlin doesn’t exist. Nevertheless, we have summarized for you the most important figures of charities and associations.
The hot summer is over, winter is coming and the nights are getting frostier. In Hamburg, there was already the first cold. The Berliner Kältehilfe – in the context of which we are providing our lodges as emergency winter shelter for people without shelter in Berlin – is now in it’s 28th year.
This year, some facilities have extended the winter period by 1 to 2 months, opening in October and closing in April. There were 407 places on October 1, but the occupancy rate was only 84 percent due to the very mild temperatures in October.
Statistics Homelessness Berlin
In addition to accommodations, there are numerous services such as counseling, meals and medical care. Donations, volunteers, surfaces – all this is missing. The issue of homelessness has long been neglected, only in recent years and with the rising number of homeless people, the issue is more present now in the media. Official figures on homelessness are also missing because there is no central responsibility, the problem between federal, state and local governments but also the competent authorities is pushed back and forth. Official numbers would allow comparisons and build up pressure. However we from My Molo have prepared some figures for homelessness in Berlin for you:
1. Up to 10,000 homeless people in Berlin
According to estimates of the welfare associations – an official statistic does not (yet) exist – between 6,000 and 10,000 people in Berlin live on the streets. According to theBAG Wohnungslosenhilfe e.V. (Federal Association for Homelessness Support), more than 52,000 people live on the street across the country without any accommodation. Since 2014 (about 39,000 people), this is an increase of 33 percent.
2. Up to 50,000 homeless in Berlin
According to estimates by the Berlin Senate, more than 50,000 people in Berlin have no permanent home and are considered homeless, but they do not live on the street. In 2018, there are already 1.2 million people across the country without a permanent home, estimates the BAG Wohnungslosenhilfe e.V. Around 37,000 homeless people in Berlin got a place to sleep in one of the emergency facilities (emergency shelters, temporary homes and crisis institutions). The number of women and children has been increasing for years. About 22.3 percent of the people without home are with kids.
3. About 1.9 million missing apartments
The housing shortage has long arrived in the middle of our society. According to estimates by Caritas, around 1.9 million homes are currently missing in Germany.
4. At the start only 826 winter shelters in Berlin
At the start of the “Kältehilfe” season 2018/2019, there will be just 826 beds available from November 1st. By comparison, in 2017/2018 there were only 689 beds in the same period. By the end of the year, the number of beds should be increased to up to 1.000 beds. Last year, at the peak, up to 1,264 beds were available for homeless people. For example: There are 30 beds in the St. Pius Church in Berlin Friedrichshain, 8 of them single rooms in form of our festival lodges.
5. Berlin Senate jumps 8.1 million euros
The Berlin Senate recently increased funding for homeless assistance projects to 8.1 million euros per year – an increase of 3.9 million euros over the previous year. The bulk will be used to provide emergency accommodation for families and women, as well as the extension of the Kältehilfe from October to April (previously: November to March).
6. At least 19 dead homeless by force
According to the Federal Association for Support to the Homlessness, there were at least 158 acts of violence against homeless people nationwide in 2017, with at least 19 ending in fatality. The number of unreported cases should be much higher, since the statistics are based on the evaluation of press reports. In most cases, the perpetrators themselves are homeless. Since the beginning of the 1989 survey, at least 532 homeless have been forcibly killed. The good news: The statistics are in decline but it is clear, every dead is a dead too much. People suffering from cold, illness or similar Incidentally, these statistics are not taken into account in this statistic.
Kältehilfe as a stopgap
The Kältehilfe is a stopgap solution for the winter, no lasting solution of social problems (housing shortage, immigration, social injustice, etc.). The services of the Kältehilfe are urgent aid, they protect people from frost and cold death. They have an open ear, advise, provide pastoral care, medical and practical help. There are clear rules – no alcohol, no violence, no drugs – but no one is rejected unless the resources are exhausted, which is not uncommon.
Berlin Senate is trying to improve
The Berlin Senate has taken the homeless assistance, which was previously coordinated at the district level, now in their own hands: The social administration will use the Alice-Salomon University to develop a counting method to collect statistics on homelessness. The budget for homelessness assistance has been significantly increased, permanent housing should be created. But nonprofit, non-governmental organizations and projects like ours (but many others too) remain still the most important cornerstone of homeless help in Berlin.