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Despite having a job, 2500 district citizens are threatened with homelessness

2023-06-06T12:13:05.006Z

Highlights: Last year almost 2500 district citizens had to fear becoming homeless. 225 – a third of them children – slipped into homelessness and had to be accommodated in emergency facilities or accommodation offered by their home community. The number of those who threatened to end up on the streets last year despite their own income has doubled since 2012. Digitalization and bureaucracy are making it increasingly difficult for the AWO to protect people from homelessness and indebtedness. The AWO pursues a holistic approach. Debt counselling and emergency housing assistance work hand in hand.



Building trust only works in person, says Stefan Wallner, head of housing emergency assistance. © Brouczek

Although they have a job, last year almost 2500 district citizens had to fear becoming homeless. In any case, that's how many people sought help from the workers' welfare organization.

District – The number of people seeking help at the Workers' Welfare Organisation (AWO) in the district of Munich has remained almost constant despite the crisis years. However, digitization and bureaucracy are making it increasingly difficult for the AWO to protect people from homelessness and indebtedness. This is the result of the annual report "SozialService 2022" of the AWO district association Munich-Land.

Many children are also affected

According to the AWO, low wages in particular are causing debt in the increasingly expensive district of Munich. Reasons are also strokes of fate such as illness, job loss or accident. Quickly, the apartment is gone. In 2429, 2022 district citizens sought advice from the AWO because they feared ending up on the street. 225 – a third of them children – slipped into homelessness and had to be accommodated in emergency facilities or accommodation offered by their home community. The number of those who threatened to end up on the streets last year despite their own income has doubled since 2012.

Digitalization makes it more difficult to build trust

The fact that the digital world makes it more difficult to help the homeless and debtors is probably the most surprising finding from the annual report "SozialService 2022" of the AWO district association Munich-Land. "Trust is needed when the question of why there was eviction, why homelessness occurred," explains Stefan Wallner, head of emergency housing assistance at the AWO Social Service. "Especially at the beginning, this is a huge relationship work between consultant and client." This trust can hardly be built up on the computer, via e-mail or Whatsapp.

Wallner certainly appreciates the advantages of the digital world. In terms of professional exchange, digitization has been accompanied by enormous facilitations. But he also knows of people who have borne responsibility for themselves and their families all their lives, who despair of the digital world. "How do I explain the QR code to a person seeking help via e-mail or on the phone, with which he can download forms?" Since Corona, more than half of the consultations have taken place via telephone or the home PC.

Bureaucracy and hardly any contact persons in the authorities

Another problem is bureaucracy and alienation from the authorities. The AWO pursues a holistic approach. Debt counselling and emergency housing assistance work hand in hand. In the same way, AWO press spokeswoman Barbara Ettl would like to see cooperation with registration authorities, job centres and banks. "There used to be a contact person." Problems could be solved promptly. "Today you call ten times, end up at a telephone machine or the employee is in the home office, positions are no longer occupied." All too often, those seeking help have to be put off. "It's frustrating."

Employees also fight for small successes

But employees are also running out of steam. Without one or the other sense of achievement, this often very emotional job eats you up skin and hair. Nevertheless, there were small successes, such as a 24-year-old, who was certified as having a clean credit bureau excerpt despite drug addiction and who could thus be given a room. "Even small steps are successes," says the AWO employee in charge.

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2023-06-06

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