STUDY ON HOMELESSNESS IN FRANKFURT – A LARGE POSTER PROVIDES INFORMATION
STUDENTS OF THE IUBH INVESTIGATE THE LIVING CONDITIONS OF HOMELESS PEOPLE IN FRANKFURT
Frankfurt, 30 January 2020 - According to estimates, there are about 2,700 homeless people living in Frankfurt, to whom the Franziskustreff in the heart of the city has been offering breakfast and social counselling for more than 25 years. Students of the IUBH International University of Applied Sciences have now investigated the living conditions of the guests. They presented their results today, 30 January, at 1 p.m. on a large poster in the underground station "Hauptwache".The students of the social work course collected and evaluated data for a total of three months. In a two-month poster campaign, the results can now be seen on the D-level of the "Hauptwache". Brother Paulus Terwitte, Chairman of the Franziskustreff Foundation, Brother Michael Wies, Director of the Franziskustreff, Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Meyer, Professor of Social Work at the IUBH, and the students were on site. The two-month poster campaign is supported by Verkehrsgesellschaft Frankfurt am Main (VGF). "It is our concern to give this topic the space it needs. It should give travellers a brief pause so that they can consider the situation of homeless people," explains Thomas Wissgott, Managing Director of VGF. Brother Paulus Terwitte, Chairman of the Franziskustreff Foundation, sees the poster campaign as a good opportunity to give viewers an understanding of the lives of homeless people: "The presentation at a Frankfurt transport hub is important. Because Frankfurt's homeless are also right there during the day: in public, in busy places."
The IUBH study shows that the homeless at Franziskustreff are between 29 and 74 years old, every fifth person is over 65. 75% of the respondents are single, 61% no longer have contact with their children. "This is a problem because the entire social environment quickly collapses as soon as the loss of housing occurs or is threatened," says Professor Meyer. "Without supportive social contacts through a life partner and the older you are, however, it becomes tremendously difficult to find your way back to an independent life."
The study by IUBH and Franziskustreff came about as part of a seminar in the dual degree programme in social work at Frankfurt's IUBH. As an expert from the field, Brother Michael Wies, the director of Franziskustreff and himself a studied social worker, also supported the project. "Social work means theory and practice. You can't have one without the other. This is especially true in emergency housing assistance. For us, it is something special when we are allowed to accompany committed young people into demanding social work," he concludes.