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Social Berlin: the homeless who do not have a Covid certificate will not be able to sleep in train stations to protect themselves from the winter

"We stand up for social justice and strengthen cohesion in our society," says the Berlin coalition agreement between the SPD, the Greens and the Left Party. The homeless are said to be “opened up with dignified prospects”. In addition, the three parties vow: “The coalition aims to do everything possible to counteract the displacement of people from their neighborhoods and to preserve their living environment.” Noble words, but the reality is different.

Because in the capital there are currently not only winter temperatures, but also a climate of social cold. At least as far as the situation of the homeless is concerned. Because thanks to the Corona rules of the Senate, they now have less covered overnight accommodation. The ordinance prohibits people without a 3G certificate from entering the underground stations.

The inspectors are urged to expel people who have neither recovered nor vaccinated, nor have a current negative test, from the subway trains and stations. Without exception, as the Berlin social administration announced at the request of the Berliner Zeitung.

No exception possible
Unfortunately it is "not possible to create an exception for homeless people," explained the social administration. "For reasons of infection protection, an exception is not desired." However, since the problematic situation of the homeless is known, the country is making a lot of efforts to enable them to be vaccinated and further tested. However, it should also be clear to the social administration that this hardly reaches the majority of the homeless and often also the people without identity cards or is accepted by them.

Three years ago it looked different. At that time, the state-owned Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) wanted to close the originally open cold train stations for safety and hygiene reasons for the homeless in the winter months. That of course called the Left Party in the form of the then Senator for Social Affairs, Elke Breitenbach, on the scene. The Senate was of the opinion that the BVG, as a state company, had "a social responsibility for this city", it let the transport companies know. The cold stations should therefore remain open.

With Corona, this view has apparently changed. All of a sudden, hygiene reasons are enough to lock out the homeless. It is true that the coalition agreement says under the heading “Social Berlin”: “We stand up for social justice and strengthen cohesion in our society”. Unfortunately, Berlin's homeless cannot warm themselves to mild promises.

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