a-german - Homelessness in Germany The visible form of true...

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Homelessness in Germany The visible form of true poverty by Andrea Bistrich An analysis of how/why some 860,000 people are homeless in Germany, which like most nations, has no governmental structure to address this human rights problem. Munich, Germany They are known as "tramps", "winos", "hobos", "street people", "bums", or simply homeless. They are the poor within our rich society, unemployed and with no resources, living on the fringes. In official terms they are called "people in social distress" or more commonly "homeless". In the terms of social federal welfare laws they are classified as "people who roam with no secure form of income, singles without a home-address and regular employment capable of being taxed for social security, without a secured mode of existence and often without a sound relationship to either family or other community members. ... people whose social problems prevent them from participating in community life." pov1-399.jpg (14851 bytes) Officially they do not exist. The numbers of homeless in Germany are not registered in any governmental statistics; the only estimates were made by independent institutions offering social services. One of these institutions is the Bundesarbeitgemeinschaft Wohnungslosenhilfe (BAG), a labour organization which aids the homeless. BAG has long demanded official governmental statistics as an indicator of housing required, but to no avail. Estimates, however, indicate that there are approximately 591,000 homeless people in Germany; if you add in the number of homeless immigrants the total adds up to approximately 860,000 people. By way of comparison, that is the size of Cologne, Germany’s fourth-largest city. Who are the homeless? Almost a third are women, nearly the same number are young people and children, and 39 per cent are men. As if the statistics weren’t bad enough, BAG estimates that a further one million people are under threat of homelessness or living in sub-standard housing. Is homelessness harder for some than for others? Most definitely, since it is easier for families to get temporary accommodation than for single people. This means that approximately 35,000 single people face life on the street. Just how tough is it being homeless in Germany? According to BAG, in the winter of
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a-german - Homelessness in Germany The visible form of true...

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