For a long time the worsening situation of fugitives was seen as a problem concerning only the EU states at the periphery. But also in Germany protection-seeking refugees live under unworthy conditions a long time – on the streets, under bridges and at train stations. While those with the right to take asylum are increasingly looking for accommodation possibilities outside the inhuman mass detention centers, many – especially from so-called “safe third countries” – do not even have the right to receive state subsidies.
In December 2014, a group of homeless migrants and the German identity card holding supporters came together to provide rooms in private apartments in the Frankfurt area. Very quickly we realized that there were not enough rooms available in residential communities, and we decided to find a long-term solution by political means. This is how Project.Shelter came into existence. Since January 2015, regular meetings have taken place, where we exchange ideas, network and plan our future actions.
Together we developed the idea of a self-managed migrant center. On June 13, 2015 more than 1,500 people demonstrated in Frankfurt for the demands of the project; In mid-July 2015 the corresponding petition ended with 8,653 signatures. Afterwards a one-week protest camp took place with a broad cultural and discussion program on the campus of the university in Bockenheim.
In several major actions, in December 2015, February 2016 and July 2016, we drew attention to specific empty buildings, both public and private, which could be reoccupied and used as a temporary accommodation center. While the use of public owned buildings was violently prevented, a partial use could be achieved for a private building. Thus, Project.Shelter has been able to operate a meeting place on Bergerstrasse 307 (Alt-Bornheim) since August 2017 – our “Bistro”. However, this house does not serve as a place for accommodation – therefore can not fulfill our central goal – and it is also time limited so that our demand for a “shelter” remains.
Numerous smaller demonstrations and actions, such as panel discussions, flashmobs and solidarity celebrations, continue to keep our demand newsworthy.