Homelessness is not something anyone chooses voluntarily. Extreme strokes of fate make some people so desperate that they can no longer manage to take care of simple everyday matters. Often, there are also many other factors that cause people to slide into a different living situation and daily structure. Once this slide has taken place and they are already homeless, it is very difficult to get out of it. If there is no helping hand around who tries to do the necessary things with you, this emergency situation becomes a habitual state. Just now I noticed many homeless people in Holstenstraße. While others walk through the shopping arcade with full bags, others lie or sit on cardboard with a sleeping bag and several bags, alone or with others. Many passers-by look at these places with disgust or even talk about them loudly in a derogatory way. I often wonder if they have lost their humanity.

How can the homeless be helped? Do they even want this help? Some may not even want to go back into the system. Are there organisations and associations in Kiel that take care of such emergencies and people? I have researched all this and briefly summarised it here. However, last year there was also a wave of people willing to help who simply hung their gifts on a fence in front of the Hörn Bridge. But the city doesn’t like that, because food attracts rats and other animals. If you want to donate something, you’d better do it through people like this: “Kieler helfen mit Herz”. 60 to 100 homeless people come by, sometimes more, when the helpers distribute their donations. The dogs also get something there. Kielers help with heart
Another possibility is the Kieler Winterhilfe: the donation campaign has started again.

For acute assistance, e.g. after flat fires or eviction, the department for housing and accommodation security in the Office for Housing and Basic Security is responsible. This is also where help is provided to avert the threat of losing one’s home. The department has different departments that deal with different main tasks. Here you will find all the documents you need and a lot more important information. Help and more from the authorities

If you have special social difficulties that are connected to special living conditions, e.g. a lack of housing, you may be entitled to benefits to overcome special social difficulties according to SGB XII. This includes, in particular, measures to maintain and obtain a home.

The Malteser cold bus in Kiel is also on the road again: every Friday to Sunday from 5 to 10 pm. The telephone number is 0170 / 1409210 for citizens to report people in need. They are also very happy to receive donations and volunteers.

There are also containers for 16 homeless people at the Ministry of Social Affairs in Adolf-Westphal-Straße. Those affected can at least spend the night there, but they have to register beforehand in the morning at the Central Counselling Centre for Men (ZBS) or the Women’s Counselling Centre (FBS). Otherwise, the Bodelschwingh House at Johann-Meyer-Strasse 13 also offers emergency accommodation, but only for destitute, single men.

No one should be ashamed when something like this happens. It can happen to all of us at any time. And to the dear donors and helpers I say “merci”!

Text, illustration: Stern am Meer