Our letter to the city from April 2020 and our supporters for a self-governing migrant centre
Open letter to the city (April 2020)
All people need a home in times of Corona – support us to realize this!
Now, during the Covid19 crisis, the relevance of our demand for years is clearly visible. Migrants* affected by homelessness and people stuck in the long queue of residence procedures without work permits are massively affected by the pandemic. They have lost their jobs and worry about their rent. They are currently not even allowed to look for new jobs, because instead of work permits they are only issued fictional certificates – although they were allowed to work before. These people are particularly hard hit by the current situation, as they are excluded from all state social aid. Refugees who have to share a room with several people in shelters, homeless people who fight every day on the streets to meet their most basic needs – they are all exposed to the virus without protection.
Project Shelter has been working for 5 years to help those who fall off the social safety net. We are a contact point for people who need accommodation or help with official applications, who are ill, need help in caring for their children or need unbureaucratic financial support. For years, social institutions within Frankfurt have been approaching us when their hands are tied due to legal restrictions and they cannot help the people. Especially in the current situation, it is clear that bureaucratic regulations in emergency situations affect the protection and lives of people because they delay or even prevent the required help. The Portuguese Government’s decision to guarantee access to the social and health system for all people regardless of their residence permit until the end of the Corona pandemic shows that it is possible to act in a humane manner in times of crisis. We note that the crisis for members of our project and many other people in this city has lasted much longer than the state of emergency by Covid-19. The consequences of this political crisis are now all the more evident. The provision of housing and unbureaucratic help cannot and must not be postponed any longer.
Since our foundation in autumn 2014 we have been pointing out that we need a house for our work. A house in which people can find a first point of contact, find peace, make contacts, satisfy their basic needs and find their bearings in Frankfurt. Unfortunately, numerous political actions, several motions in municipal committees, a petition with more than 8000 signatures and discussions with various city councillors of different parties have not yet led to the fact that we can finally realize this centre.
Especially in these times, when the well-being of the most vulnerable in our society is at risk, we need a house at last. We call on the city to make this house available to us at least for an interim use, so that we get a chance to show that a shelter in Frankfurt is long overdue. The former Academy of Labour is now also offered to projects as an interim use, some are already using it and this should also be done with the Paradieshof or a similar building. We have the experience of many years, the necessary knowledge, the financial means and also trained social workers and lawyers at hand. Through our good networking with other groups and individuals as well as through our circle of supporters, which has grown over the years, we can manage this house ourselves – only a object is needed. We would like to call on you and your party colleagues to resume talks with us now and to position yourselves clearly in this crisis: Stand up for the health and dignity of all people, regardless of their legally assigned status.
Especially in these difficult times, show your solidarity with those who need protection and make it clear that even marginalized people belong to Frankfurt and can find a home here!
Förderverein Roma e. V.
Solidarity City Frankfurt
Die Falken Frankfurt
Prof. Dr. Daniel Loick,Uni Amsterdam
Katharina Hoppe, Uni Frankfurt
Prof. Dr. Uta Ruppert, Uni Frankfurt
Die Linke Frankfurt im Römer
»Faites votre jeu!«/Klapperfeld
No Border Frankfurt
Cop Watch Frankfurt
Vernetzung gegen Abschiebung Hessen und Mainz
LSKH Frankfurt (Lesbisch Schwules Kulturhaus Frankfurt)
Teachers on the road Frankfurt
Dr. Onur Suzan Nobrega
Prof. Dr. Barbara Friebertshäuser, Uni Frankfurt
Prof. Dr. Thomas Lemke, Uni Frankfurt
Prof. Dr. Susanne Heeg, Uni Frankfurt
Dr. Tanja Scheiterbauer, Uni Frankfurt
Prof. Dr. Mamadou Diawara, Uni Frankfurt
Cheickna Diawara, Uni Frankfurt
Eine Stadt für Alle – ABG Kampagne