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Emergency aid for homeless people: Cold weather buses start in November


Starting in November, additional emergency overnight shelter will be available for homeless people in Berlin.

The 2023 cold aid season started in October with an initial number of around 680 overnight shelter places. From November, further emergency shelter places will be created so that the target of 1,000 places will be reached. This was announced by the Senate Department for Social Services.

Cold weather buses start running in November

The so-called cold weather buses (Kältebusse) will also be on the road again from November. These buses take care of people on the street who are in danger from the cold. On the one hand, they pick up homeless people on the street and take them to emergency shelters where they can sleep at night. On the other hand, they also provide people with sleeping bags, warm drinks and food if they do not want to or cannot be taken to a shelter. Before calling a cold weather bus, you should approach the person in question and ask for their consent. In emergencies - for example, if a person appears helpless and is unresponsive - contact the police or fire department instead.

Great demand for suitable emergency accommodation

Cansel Kiziltepe, Senator for Labour, Social Services, Gender Equality, Integration, Diversity and Anti-Discrimination, highlighted the difficulty of finding suitable accommodation for people in danger from the cold: "I would be happy if we received even more offers for properties suitable for emergency overnight stays for the cold aid program."

Cold aid services continuously expanded

The cold aid (Kältehilfe) program for homeless people has been running for more than 30 years. Over the course of the past few years, the offer had been steadily increased: In the winter of 2011/12, for example, a maximum of around 400 people had been able to find shelter for the night. The aim is to protect people from freezing to death between October and April. The Senate Department for Social Services, the districts and several social agencies are involved, as well as numerous volunteers and donors.

Author: BerlinOnline/
Publication date: 26 October 2023
Last updated: 26 October 2023

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