FuGeeLa: Refugees in Berlin #1

Photo: Sebaso/FlickrCC

Every week there are news about the situation of refugees in Berlin. Here’s a summary of what’s happening and how you can help. This is the English version of an article on Mit Vergnügen, hier kannst du ihn auf Deutsch lesen.

Number of the week

14 | That’s how many police officers are guarding 350 refugees staying in a police gym in Spandau. They were supposed to stay there over the weekend only, but due to suspected scabies and tuberculosis with some of them, the hall has been quarantined on Monday.

How’s the situation at the registration office, LaGeSo?

Still tense. Anna Corves is reporting that people are forming lines from 10pm to wait for appointments on the next day.

Since yesterday, an association of lawyers offers free legal advice in front of LaGeSo for those refugees who couldn’t yet place an asylum application. Because those who don’t come in person to the LaGeSo, don’t receive any benefits. Hence the lines.

What’s the city of Berlin doing?

They’re still looking for undeveloped areas, free houses and vacant buildings in Berlin to create shelters for the arriving people. By now, they’re discussing places that have once been rejected as housing (the asbestos at the ICC doesn’t seem to be a problem any longer).

Furthermore, the senate considers making properties – especially spacious commercial properties – available to the administrations without consent of the owners. Berliners can volunteer as well: “We’re urgently looking for vacant houses, for a shorter or longer term”, senate Mario Czaja (CDU) is quoted in the Berliner Zeitung.

Moreover, the senate is preparing a new legislation to avoid homelessness, says the Tagesspiegel. Thereby shelters can be build on the Tempelhofer Feld.

Are there any good news?

The willingness to help is still there: “Solidary Action Kitchen” is now serving food in front of LaGeSo once a week: “We’re a group of people cooking for arrivals in our mobile kitchen. Everything we use has been donated and our work is solidary.” If you want to help: they’re looking for spoons and plates for their service tomorrow.

How can you help this week?

Although the days have been unusually warm these past weeks, the nights aren’t. So if you have gloves, scarfs and hats at home, they’re urgently needed in all shelters. You can help out at the LaGeSo with warm drinks, here’s a facebook group to coordinate that.

Christiane Beckmann of Moabit Hilft! and journalist Peter Schaber are discussing how to deal and help with the situation next Tuesday at “Acud”.

Get Involved
Infos and links to Berlin’s initiatives for refugees can be found at the Flüchtlingsrat and at bürgeraktiv. You can register at the volunteer planner and start helping at the shelters and registration centers.


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  1. Chiara on


    Great post. Love that you also talk about these important topics in our city!

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