The Project "Frostschutzengel Plus" offers outreach social consultation to homeless EU citizens using low-threshold homelessness services in Berlin. Our clients are living in abject poverty, either sleeping rough or living in absolutely precarious, unstable conditions.
Every client has a complicated story, and their problems have many layers. Often there are costs associated with overcoming homelessness which are not high in the grand scheme of things, but become an insurmountable hurdle for the person affected.
Here are some examples from the past few weeks:
S. from Lithuania would like to start working for a temping company so that he can have an income and move into accomodation that allows him to register his address ("Anmeldung"). The job would be at a bakery, which S would be interested in. The company is ready to employ him as soon as possible. The only document missing is the so-called "Rote Karte" (certificate of food hygiene from the Department of Health), which costs 20€. S has no financial means whatsoever and does not know how to scrape the money together.
M. from Latvia is stranded in Germany. He was robbed and has no money, no bank card and no phone. Luckily he managed to keep hold of his ID. Since then he has been sleeping rough and at homeless shelters. In latvia there is no work for him and he has no apartment to return to. He is slowly losing hope. M's plan was to continue travelling to London, where he has family. He has a sister living there, whom he could stay with. Also his ex-partner is living there with their children. Since he no longer has a phone, he has lost contact to his family and cannot ask them for help. M does not want to commit crimes to pay for his journey. There are Flights from Berlin to London available for less than 30€, even short-term. For someone with a secure income, this is a bargain; for M it is an impossibly high price.
D from Lithuania has managed to sign a work contract. Now he has to wait a month and a half before his first salary comes. He does not have a German SIM card, so his employer cannot reach him if the job changes last-minute. If D becomes ill or is late, he cannot call and let his employer know. His employee status is in danger since he is still in the trial period. A SIM card with prepaid credit costs "only" 10€. If D remains unreachable by phone for a month and a half, he will lose the job again for sure.
These are just some exaples of the costs with which our clients are confronted on a daily basis. These are everyday situations which make the long and difficult way out of homelessness that much more difficult, even though they are easily solved with relatively little money.
Frostschutzengel Plus needs your help! As you can see, a little money can go a long way when it comes to overcoming homelessness.