Homelessness in Germany – What if you can’t afford a home? | DW Documentary

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Homelessness in Germany – What if you can’t afford a home? | DW Documentary

Up to one million people in Germany are considered to be experiencing homelessness. Despite having a job or a pension, many are unable to afford a home of their own.

According to estimates, the number of people experiencing homelessness has been rising steadily since 2008. For too long, politicians have ignored the problem and neglected to collect comprehensive data – even though the issue has long since reached the heart of society. It’s only now in 2022 that the German government will have collected nationwide data to assemble official statistics. Because only people housed in community or emergency shelters are counted, this analysis will be supported by additional reporting on the number of people living on the streets.

The problem is exacerbated by overburdened aid and support systems, a lack of coordination, a tight housing market and real estate speculation. For experts such as social anthropologist Luisa Schneider, it mainly comes down to a lack of strategy: „At the moment we find ourselves in a situation where we are managing, but not solving homelessness. If we don’t change our social structure, these numbers are going to skyrocket. The problem can’t be solved with our current system.“

Reporter Max Neidlinger accompanied several people experiencing homelessness. Their stories are examples of an ever graver problem: More and more people are homeless or, less visibly, being housed in makeshift accommodation. There is a lack of both affordable housing and a long-term strategy to support those affected. Yet in a joint declaration of EU member states, Germany has pledged to work to end homelessness by 2030.

Homeless people in Germany have been forced to fend for themselves. Many of them are unable to seek help or are unaware of possible assistance. Some feel a sense of shame and oftentimes they live hidden away, somehow managing to survive. How is it possible that in one of the world’s wealthiest countries, people increasingly cannot afford a home of their own, despite having a job or a pension? And why has there been inaction for so long?

#documentary #dwdocumentary #homelessness #Germany
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