18.07.2022, Berlin: Eine Tafel mit Informationen zu den Öffnungszeiten hängt am Eingang zu der Notunterkunft der Hitzehilfe für wohnungs- und obdachlose Menschen im Bezirk Schöneberg. Die erste Sommer-Notunterkunft Berlins wird in Zusammenarbeit mit Internationalem Bund (IB) betrieben und bietet Platz für 30 obdach- oder wohnungslose Menschen gleichzeitig. Foto: Monika Skolimowska/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

People without their own apartment can get help in various places in Berlin when it is very hot – this not only applies to the next two days, when temperatures of up to 39 degrees are expected in the region.

For the homeless or homeless, a model project “Wärmehilfe” by the social association IB Berlin-Brandenburg started on Monday at Kurmärkische Straße 1-3 in Berlin-Schoeneberg. Those affected can stay, shower and rest there every day from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

They will also receive food and drinks, as well as thermos flasks, clothing, sleeping bags and sun protection products if needed, the IB said. In addition, there are counseling services for people who live on the street either partially or completely.

What is new about the project is that structures for the annual cold relief are now also being used for heat relief, said a spokesman for the social administration. The Senate is supporting the project, which will initially run until the end of September, with almost 106,000 euros.

According to the social administration, 23 homeless pilots are also on the road in the city for the heat aid of the social provider Karuna. They speak to people without a roof over their heads, distribute water, sunscreen, glasses or hygiene items if necessary and check their general state of health in order to call for medical help if necessary. Karuna also operates several “cooling buses” where people can stay and recover from heat stress.

According to the social administration, the Karuna heat aid for homeless people has been working since 2020. The Senate supports the initiative with 400,000 euros annually and finances the positions of the pilots through the Solidarity Basic Income project.

According to the information, the Senate is promoting a somewhat smaller project in the Tabor community in Kreuzberg (Taborstrasse 17), which has been active in cold relief for a long time. The parish offers people without a roof over their heads twice a week – always on Wednesdays and Sundays – a cool retreat and drinks.

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“Life on the street is dangerous, extreme heat and extreme cold make it life-threatening,” said Senator for Social Affairs Katja Kipping (left) when asked by the dpa. Her spokesman Stefan Strauss also pointed out that the homeless are not only affected by the cold, but also by the heat.

“Life on the streets offers little opportunity to cool off and carries the constant risk of dehydration,” he explained. “In summer there are fewer retreats and hardly any access to cooled rooms. The Senate Social Administration has therefore been funding heat aid projects for people living on the streets since 2020.”