Berlin - In Berlin, the first nationwide systematic homeless census counted 1,976 people - significantly fewer than previously assumed. Of these, good 800 people were found on the streets, said Social Senator Elke Breitenbach (left) today. A further 942 people were staying in the facilities of the refrigeration aid.
Breitenbach sees the number that has now been determined and further findings on the situation of people on the street as the first basis for improving offers of help and starting new model projects. "Of course we don't know the whole truth," she admitted. “Of course we won't have found every homeless person.” Therefore, further counts are planned.
So far only rough ones existed Estimates of the number of homeless in the capital. These were from 6,000 to 10,000 people. The self-advocacy of homeless people criticized the census. "The numbers are unrealistic," said spokeswoman. You assume there are far more homeless people in Berlin. More important than such an action is to create more living space for people without place to stay.
"You can break new ground, you can also fail," said Breitenbach about the criticism. "But to continue looking at the misery, I am not available for that." She wants to do more about it, and valid data is needed for this.
The count also included the homeless people in S and U-Bahn (158), in rescue stations (15) and in police custody (12) are taken into account. About third of the homeless on the streets gave the counting teams information about their own living situation, it said. 55 percent of them are between 30 and 49 years old, 84 percent are men.
Almost half (47 percent) of the people have not had permanent home for more than three years. A good 40 percent live alone on the street. A similar size lives with one or more adults, sometimes in love relationship. The others did not provide any information.
113 of the 288 respondents (39 percent) are Germans, 140 EU foreigners, 31 come from third countries, 4 did not provide any information. A differentiation of foreigners according to nationalities is not possible for reasons of data protection, it said. It has long been known, however, that many foreigners come from former Eastern Bloc countries such as Poland or Romania, which are now part of the EU.
Breitenbach criticized the fact that they were often not entitled to social benefits. Here the federal government has duty to change laws. “We cannot watch these people perish on the street,” said the senator. "You have to get the same benefits as everyone else."
Around 2.On the night of January 29th to 30th, 600 volunteers were out and about on set routes in the capital to count homeless people and, if possible, to ask them questions about their age, origin and their situation on the street. With the campaign entitled “Night of Solidarity”, Berlin met long-term demands. The aim is to use the findings to improve the offers of help.