the old man bears the love of yellow high-visibility vests. For weeks, maybe months, he sits at the entrance to the metro station St. Pauli. In the record-breaking summer, he crouched there in a T-Shirt, this Saturday morning before Christmas, he wears a tattered, blue wool coat and an old hat. When families visit the Cathedral, if Party, the flow of people in the evening on the Kiez, when stag and hen parties drunk the stairs to the top swing, he sits there. He speaks to no one, not begging, because he can hardly speak German. Just an old paper Cup standing in front of him. Hardly anyone throws something.

But today other people. You push a crowded shopping wagons in front of them, wearing safety vests and talk to him. “Hello, would you like a coffee? Tea? Long Under-Pants?”, Julia Staron, a woman with dark cap and two dogs on the leash asks. He smiles, nods, and makes with his right Hand in a shaking motion. “Oh, right, we also have sugar,” says Staron and scavenging in the shopping cart for the small bags. She hands him the coffee and looks at him more closely. “Long pants would not be bad, hm?” He looks at you irritated. She reaches into the car and shows on the packaging: An athletic guy in long pants. He smiles.


A pack with long pants has this man already get. Now rummage through the helper on the shopping cart to a new pair of trousers.

©kg the anti-cold-help: preparation for the Tour

Only a few hours before a conductor is Vincent Schmidt: The bread mountains on the table, the boxes with the shower gel to go into the back room, the dog food in the bags, and please don’t stand in front of the entrance door. The orchestra consists of volunteers, the lubricating rolls, coffee into huge thermal pots to fill or wool socks. “Anti-cold St. Pauli”, in short the General hospital, called his Ensemble. In the two small office spaces on the local Museum, you give her guest for the game. And on the morning shows: there isn’t enough space in the back and the front. More and more deliveries, more and more helpers. It is a Push and Stack – then the door opens. And a woman carrying two large bags with Croissants and milk bread in and balanced them on the table.


Vincent Schmidt’s General hospital-Board of Directors


Schmidt and his colleagues have been doing this for years. What looks like a wild mess, controlled Chaos. Since the summer, the AKH is a registered Association, Vincent Schmidt is the Chairman. The Team is networked with Foodsafern, the food can no longer be sold or allowed to supermarkets and bakeries to pick up. Today we set out on the road, in the corners and under bridges where the homeless stay when the temperatures drop. Schmidt and his colleagues know the places very carefully. Because the AKH since the run-up to Christmas 2011.


hours before the actual Start have met the helpers and lubricate the rolls.

©kg cold As the Anti-aid

“The winter was brutal, came out of nowhere,” recalls Julia Staron. She was just in the city centre, Christmas stuff, shopping, when the snow it started. Not the soft, powdery flakes, but small, frozen Eiskügelchen, the burning in the face and the fingers numb. “I was much attracted to thin,” says Staron. She wrapped her beige jacket tighter around her body, pulling the shoulder and went faster. Just to home weather, and the mist. Not only was she surprised by the Winter, but also the homeless. “The people expressed deep in the building entrances,” said Staron. “And there were so many.” When she arrived home, she closed the door to their warm apartment and thought, “shit!”

And so Julia Staron sat down and did what many people do when they are dissatisfied: please write in Facebook their frustrations of the soul. And also you haute in the keys: Why such a rich city like Hamburg takes the misery? Staron makes air. “Hundreds of comments I had after a very short time. Apparently I was not the Only one that felt this life-threatening injustice,” says Staron.


Julia Staron is the patron of the AKH


But it was not the anonymous exchange in the network, the people that reported directly to her. Suddenly, Staron comrades-in-arms who also wanted to do something. They formed a group, discussed what to do. Blankets, old winter coats that were donated to caps. Staron organised a Camper van, picked up the clothes and brought them to the homeless initiatives. “Everything went so fast, within two, three weeks, there have been a helper network from the neighborhood,” she says. On the Morning of the 24. December, 2011 went. A couple of people from the neighborhood had brought lubricated loaves and mulled wine. They stuffed everything in a cart and a old cart and moved through the quarter. “It was the beginning of the AKH,” says Anna, which is today the patron of the Initiative. “It was like a snow ball system, which was getting bigger and bigger.”

From the boller trips, car, Christmas will be celebrating in a communal room. More and more helpers to arrange, more and more donations, in a year there is a Feast on the Spielbudenplatz with tents, in which Doctors, veterinarians, and hairdressers. The volunteers are professional, the help industrialized. Meanwhile, support from the company. The North of Hamburg-based factory of Johnson & Johnson is one of them. There, employees can buy in the company shop for a few Cents shower gel, cleaning wipes and hand cream and in a large Box. The Sina Stefaniak takes care of. “With this idea, we have created a way that people donate. Without much effort,” she says. These boxes end up in homeless accommodation, or in the case of the AKH. With your employer there for exactly 75 years ago, a Credo: First customers, then employees and then the company. The shareholders ‘ landing on square 4 of this hierarchy. And so it was advertised on the operation of Assembly to ensure that the employees can engage in the Vienna General hospital.


Two homeless women sitting in front of the arcade.

©kg the If the help of self-overcoming

In the operations centre of the General hospital, a small, crowded semi-circle of young women in front of Vincent Schmidt, while you cart around the beach tour will be prepared, including some employees of Johnson & Johnson. “I norde you short time, you’re all new to the hospital”, Schmidt. And so he told that canned beparticularly popular are and you have to distribute it so sparingly, so that as many as possible to get something from the delivery. “Before you spread something, just ask what is needed. One would like to have a toothbrush, the next is happy about dog food,” explains Schmidt. “Draws you in the yellow vests, then you can see you.” Schmidt is already long enough to know what is the actual hurdle: with the homeless to speak. People push a Cup of coffee in the Hand, is easy. But fear of mine that own comfort zone to leave, the right tone to strike without Top-down to occur – this is the real challenge. But he says the New. But go with the group. This conflict triggers better on the road.


coffee, tea, a few biscuits: The helpers distribute food and warm clothes.


Prior to the game hall on the Reeperbahn have left two women. A pink has out-grown strands, the Other has to dig deep into their Parka. Under a military green sleeping bag try not to feel the cold. Before the steady drizzle of rain, they fled on this day, under a canopy. Their two dogs doily wear. From the Christmas market a Christmas song by Dean Martin over beveled to echoes. Schmidt controls his troupe on the camp. The young assistant around the car inside it finds a niche in the freight of the shopping. How to begin? Vincent Schmidt helps: “Good Morning, Love. Would you like a coffee?” he asks. Yes, it may. He begins to chat with the women, while his Team-funnel of coffee, Thermo-Leggings out of the car, fish and dog food and biscuits is looking for. Spread is easier than talking. From the Club next door of two guys with beer bottles, stumbling in the Hand. Although it is already noon, but that is in the neighborhood for the first time, nothing. Also you the women to provide hot food and underpants. “The drunken tourists,” murmurs Julia Staron. A Cup of coffee, the two take anyway.

The helper of the AKH also had to learn that XXL-packs of shower gel are on the road to large for the hand Luggage of the homeless. That they serve no alcohol, if a majority of the Homeless with alcohol addiction struggles. Not every dress donation is a help. “In a year, I moved the Slippers actually and a taffeta dress in a bag,” says Staron.


The Dom, a large folk festival in Hamburg, is still mined. The anti-cold-help is on the way to U-Bahn Station.


need to recognize and act on the had preached Schmidt and his helpers. But that sounds easier than it is. This Saturday, the hospital supporters will be able to distribute at the end of the day, a lot of food to the Homeless shelters more rich instead of you. Because of the usual places you meet anyone. Saturday is not a good day for such an action, says Staron. Then the homeless are flying a long way off, sitting in the city centre, follow invisible routes to their seats. Sunday is better, but since it has already registered another aid organization. Just at Christmas time, the willingness to help is great. Therefore, Schmidt and co. are already planning for the next action in February. Then there are the estimated at around 2000 people living on the streets of Hamburg, not so much help. And it is also in the Hanseatic city of crisp cold. The city provides approximately 800 beds in the Winter, in accommodation for the homeless. More than half asleep, so also in case of Frost and rain outside. Since November of 2018, four homeless people are already on the streets of Hamburg died. One of them, Johanna, had a night in a Frost on a Park bench slept and in the morning by passers-by found. A post-mortem examination the cause of death was noted: under cooling.

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Teodora Torrendo is an investigative journalist and is a correspondent for European Union. She is based in Zurich in Switzerland and her field of work include covering human rights violations which take place in the various countries in and outside Europe. She also reports about the political situation in European Union. She has worked with some reputed companies in Europe and is currently contributing to USA News as a freelance journalist. As someone who has a Masters’ degree in Human Rights she also delivers lectures on Intercultural Management to students of Human Rights. She is also an authority on the Arab world politics and their diversity.


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