The central question

Centralized or decentralized? For the members of the "circle of friends for refugees" in kitzingen, there is no question at all: they believe that the decentralized accommodation of asylum seekers in the district has proved its worth. Accordingly, they were astonished to learn of the state government’s decision to close down all decentralized offices in the state by the end of the year. Political pressure is now to be built up with resolutions. It’s not quite that simple.

48 decentralized shelters still existed in the district of kitzingen in the fall of 2016. In the meantime, almost half of the locations have been closed down – for example in buchbrunn, gnodstadt or enheim. Much to the chagrin of county councilman jens pauluhn (odp). "Of course, the concept was born out of necessity," he says. "But it has developed into a successful model."People have come into contact, the paths were short, mutual understanding has been awakened. Especially since the costs for the state in the district of kitzingen were kept within reasonable limits. Unlike in other bavarian counties, the apartments here were generally rented at local prices and not overpriced.

Jens pauluhn, however, is fighting for the retention of decentralized offices primarily out of human considerations. "This is better for the refugees and for our society."

Saady, achmat, hossam and maher know what life is like in decentralized accommodation. All four syrians spent several months in the inner sulzfeld strabe. Even though living in such close quarters was not always easy, "we got to know a lot of people and received a lot of help," says saady, looking at monika braun and dr. Gisela grunwald, who has rendered outstanding services to the circle of helpers from the very beginning. Whether it’s arranging language courses, helping with homework or translating cryptic official letters, there has always been plenty of work for the helpers. How good it was that the paths were short and communication was fast and targeted.

"It’s already getting more difficult for us helpers from kitzingen in the shared accommodation," says dr. Grunwald. But how must it feel for the people from martinsheim, herrnsheim or other places who want to continue supporting the refugees?? "They won’t just drive 20 kilometers to the innopark," suspects dr. Grunwald. The network of helpers, which was built up with great effort, will be destroyed unnecessarily. Integration is not a sprint, but a marathon race. "And for this it is absolutely necessary to have personal contacts."The decentralized accommodations should therefore be maintained.

The kitzingen city council has already approved a corresponding resolution by a majority vote. The county council, on the other hand, rejected the idea on monday of this week. Reasoning: the accommodation and financing of asylum seekers is purely a state task.

For the members of the kitzinger helferkreis this decision is not comprehensible. They argue that the work in the decentralized shelters has challenged people’s understanding of each other, even in the countryside. In addition, thanks to the intensive support, a number of asylum seekers have been placed in training. Maher is training to be an IT specialist, saady is learning to be a salesman, achmat wants to become an industrial mechanic, and hassan is training to be a body builder. After a long search and with the support of the helpers, all four have now found a place to live.

For the asylum seekers who still live in the existing decentralized housing, the housing market is not getting any easier. There are already around 90 so-called misplaced occupants – out of a total of 175 residents. "This number will continue to rise," says dr. Grunwald. "Unfortunately, there are still apartment owners who do not want to rent to foreigners."

According to the will of the state government, non-recognized asylum seekers will only be accommodated in shared accommodation (GU). According to the figures of the district administration, a total of 675 GU places are available in the district of kitzingen, of which 632 are occupied. There is not much free space.

The group of helpers is already rethinking the structures and collecting ideas for the further care of the asylum seekers. "Personal sponsorships were ideal," says brigitte pauluhn. They not only changed people’s perceptions, but also their perspectives. In any case, the need is there – for example, in the area of math tutoring.

Her husband does not yet want to give up hope completely. "You can always reverse a decision," he says. For this to happen, however, the political climate had to change significantly.

The current data: in the city of kitzingen, there are currently three community shelters: oberer mainkai with 47 places (of which occupied: 40), corlette circle with 151 places (of which occupied: 151) and innopark with 400 places (of which occupied: 364). In addition, there is a GU in kleinlangheim with 77 bursts (of which occupied: 77).


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