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In 2020, which was marked by the pandemic , we visited people without a fixed abode and addicts in the Bonn and Cologne areas for the first time.
The background: Many previously established support services had been eliminated by the measures to contain the pandemic, so that those who were already worse off in our society suffered particularly from the restrictions.
Our reasoning: If the contact restrictions already so drastic for our families and ourselves and ourselves felt so drastic and challenging how did they have to be for the people on the street? people on the street be?
Thus, members of our association, including parents with children, collected donations of clothes, blankets, sleeping bags and food to give to the homeless. And to spend time with them. What remains of the encounters is described by a volunteer of our association:
Oliver Drathen from Eitorf was on the road in Bonn together with Janine Mittelstädt, Christian Senftleben and Jürgen Perteck.
“Why did you get involved with homeless people and drug addicts?”
“During the Corona period, the support services for these people were extremely scaled back. Suddenly there were no more food distributions, well-known drop-in centers were closed. Cab drivers who occasionally brought food to the homeless were no longer on site. And then came the cold spell. A terrible performance. We thought about what we could do for these people and – in a very practical way – collected warm clothes, sleeping bags and blankets, made hot tea and coffee, packed cookies and sweets and set off, in threes or fours, to the familiar places in Bonn and Cologne, in the streets or subway stations.”
“How did you experience the meetings?”
“At first, there were rather reserved reactions. But when we started talking, they were very impressive encounters. After all, they are people like you and me. Who simply had bad luck in life. Or have experienced strokes of fate. I remember a young man, Matthias, in his late 20s, whose wife and child were suddenly torn from his life. He just couldn’t get over the loss and now lives on the street. Or a woman with her dog who kept trying in vain to find a place to live and was rejected everywhere.”
“What’s planned for the future?”
“In any case, there should be similar actions again next winter. In Cologne there is another action in this month of May and there are also more planned. We all had the impression that people were really happy that we were there. Yes, I think we gave them a real pleasure.”
Also in 2021, groups aroundAngelina and Kyrill Brobowski, Elke and Anke Skwirblies, and Andreas Zörbel made visits to people with no fixed abode in Cologne. The actions are continuously continued and spontaneously initiated. Additional helpers are always welcome.
Before Christmas 2021, Anke and Elke Skwirblies, Andreas Zörbel and Kathrin Anderseck were out and about in Cologne, providing people without a permanent address with hot drinks, Christmas cookies and warm blankets.
In Bonn on the same weekend Christian Senftleben, Anthea and Jürgen Perteck and Janine and Oliver Drathen were on the road. The group was accompanied by Frank Strebel, local editor of Schaufenster Bonn.
During the flood disaster in the summer of 2021, we appealed for donations via social media. Within a very short time, we were pleased to receive donations of over 3,700€, which we used to support families in the Rhein-Sieg district as well as in the Ahrweiler district who had lost their homes in the floods.
Likewise, we supported an initiative from Alfter that delivered hot lunches to villages cut off from the power grid for weeks.
Our volunteer Anke Skwirblies has herself called for another fundraising campaign in cooperation with her employer, TÜV Rheinland. Here, donations in kind from all over Germany came together, which we sorted in our Swisttal warehouse and brought to the crisis areas. Here the action as videos (Youtube)
In cooperation with the Koblenz clinic clowns around our partner Sylvia Siener, we visited elderly people in the Alfter senior center in the fall of 2021.
On the initiative of Christian Senftleben, who has been working for people without permanent residence in Germany and Norway for years, there was a special city walk through Bonn in February. A former homeless person invited to experience firsthand her view of the city, the reality of life for people without a permanent home.
She and her husband as well as other people from Bonn without a permanent residence were supported in advance by our association. Your livelihood the young woman now makes up for it with these city tours. up.
With winter coming on, teams of us were out again reaching people on the streets. In Cologne the team of Anke and Elke Skwirblies and Andreas Zörbel, in Bonn a group of Anna and Christian Senftleben, Tanja Wiesner, Kai Werner and Judith and Stefan John .
In Bonn this year, donations made it possible for a total of three people to stay in hotels over the holidays. Likewise, there has been help with visits to authorities, which will be continued. Background information on this commitment can be read in detail in our blog.
Anyone who would like to support this and similar actions is cordially invited to help. Volunteer as an employee in our association or as a supporter – we appreciate every contribution and thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
(Last updated: February 2023)