Berlin hotels open their doors to the homeless for the winter as shelters struggle

HOMELESS: Red Cross are also provided heated buses during the pandemic. CREDIT: Twitter

Berlin hotels open their doors to the homeless for the winter as shelters struggle during the pandemic.

SHELTERS in the German capital have run out of space while hotels stand empty due to the health crisis.

So they have decided to offer a roof and warmth to the scores of homeless forced to sleep on the streets as temperatures drop to below -15 degree Celsius.

Pension Reiter is one of several hotels taking part in the initiative which is “changing lives2, according to media reports.

And while the hotels are allowing the homeless to stay for free, the government has agreed to pay them a small compensation for the beds – much-needed income at a time when tourism and business travel are still all but impossible in Germany.

The move follows pressure from Berlin charities who stepped up their efforts to get hotels to open their doors to people in need and managed to secure just over 1,400 beds — the most ever, according to Stefan Strass, spokesman for Berlin’s social services.

And it’s not just a bed on offer, many of the establishments are providing breakfast in the morning and a hot meal in the evening.

Sister Arnould works with a shelter for those experiencing homelessness but said her main role is to lend an ear and offer assistance.

The hotel beds are a big help, she said, adding that it “offers the security of being able to spend the night indoors in a proper bed every night” and allows people to reach a point where they can try to make plans.

“They have a better chance at a better life.”


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Tara Rippin

Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.

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