How do I get help if am homeless / do not have a place to live, and can I get advice?
If you are at risk of losing your home or you do not have an apartment, then you can take advantage from a range of services that are supported by the Senate Administration for Urban Development and the Environment. For example, a list with the telephone numbers of homeless aid agencies that are supported by the senate. Alternatively, there are also free organisations like welfare associations and religious communities.
During the winter months in particular, it can become very cold in Berlin. For this purpose, the Senate Administration has organised the Berliner Kältehilfe service together with religious communities and welfare associations. Kältehilfe offers you an extensive range of activities, counselling, and care services. The guidebook features a list of night-time cafés, emergency accommodation, day centres, meeting places, soup kitchens, medical care and counselling centres, and additional information like telephone numbers and contact partners who can help you.
If you would like to receive social assistance or support from the state, the Senate Administration for Social Affairs indicates the responsible agencies. Please note that the social agency assigned to you is located in the district where you last lived or where you are going to live. If you have never been registered in Berlin, then you will be assigned according to your month of birth.
Where can I find emergency accommodation?
If you do not have an apartment, then you can also sleep, wash, do laundry and get something to eat in an emergency overnight shelter for those without apartments. This list features a selection of organisations that are open all year.
During the winter months, the “Berliner Kältehilfe” program offers homeless people non-bureaucratic overnight accommodation. “Berliner Kältehilfe(link to website of Berliner Kältehilfe) is a joint program between the Berlin Senate, Berlin Church, welfare associations and other societies and initiatives. The location and how to get there can be found in the Kältehilfe-Wegweiser. The overview is in Russian, Bulgarian, Polish, Romanian and English.
The Kältehilfe-Wegweiser (Shelter from the Cold guide) allows you to search for offers of year-round emergency accommodation or shelter from the cold as well as other support offers, such as day stays, consultation centres, projects for medical or hygienic care, clothing stores and soup kitchens.
Consultation in many languages and support for health, especially for homeless EU citizens is offered by the Frostschutzengel Project.
What is soziale Wohnhilfe der Bezirke (district social assistance)?
District social assistance is a social-pedagogical support and counselling service that is offered by the individual districts in Berlin. The contact offices are listed at the respective social services offices.
These services include help and counselling for people looking for apartments. You can also receive counselling for debt, especially rent and power debt.
Social housing assistance in each district is your most important contact. There, you will find out if you are due social welfare services. If it is the case, social housing assistance can grant these services or communicate this to the appropriate office. These services can also include further social-pedagogical help.
The social housing assistance is also responsible, in pressing circumstances, to facilitate a space in accommodation or in a dormitory.
The points of contact for social housing assistance are listed at the respective social welfare offices.