No Video, No Camera, No Drama. Just Pure Goodwill
Some where in Germany bags of food are hanged out for the poor needy and hungry… No public display no video no grammar no drama no camera. Just pure love and goodwill.
For weeks now the message on how best to slow the spread of coronavirus has been clear: stay at home. But what does this mean for those who are homeless?
There are hundreds of thousands of homeless people across Germany and for them, the corona crisis has meant even more hardship. Everything is closed – from public toilets to many homeless shelters. There are less people on the street – meaning less food and less donations. And with no access to washing facilities, how can they maintain the hygiene standards needed to keep the virus at bay? Organisations for helping the homeless up and down the country are struggling to maintain their support systems for those who need it most.
We take a look at some of the ways such organisations have been trying to keep going and what the rest of us can do to help out.
Demanding help from central and local government
Werena Rosenke, the Director of the Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft Wohnungslosenhilfe (Federal Working Group on Homeless Aid) has said that many of the organisation’s workers across the country feel that the vast majority of services and facilities for homeless people are being neglected by politicians and by health authorities.
In order to mitigate the situation, the Working Group is demanding that forced evictions be suspended, that emergency shelters open their doors even during the day and that municipalities create additional living space.
There have also been appeals to the local government to keep aid workers supplied with protection they need to safely care for their homeless guests.
In Hesse, for example, the local League of Free Welfare Care made an appeal on Tuesday to the state government to ensure the supply of materials such as face masks and disposable gloves.
A place to stay
Most Notunterkünfte (emergency accommodations) house their guests in multiple occupancy sleeping rooms, but the necessity of social distancing means that such conditions are no longer safe.
In response to pleas from these services, many local authorities have been trying to make other spaces available for homeless people.