Day 24
2 minutes support to help get homeless children of the streets of Berlin

Working for street children in Germany Working for street children in Germany

Offering young homeless people a way back into our society

Lena is 25 years old, lives in a Flat share in Berlin and will finish her apprenticeship next year. A few years ago, she would never have dared to hope that her life would one day look like this. Her childhood and the relationship with her parents were problematic. Eventually, she couldn't bear to be at home any more and ran away. Her path led her first to friends and finally on to the streets of Berlin. But the feeling of freedom quickly disappeared and questions like "Where can I sleep?" and "What should I eat?" were her primary concern. Attending regular food distribution projects at "Alexanderplatz", Lena came into contact with street workers. After a while she also went to a drop-in centre for street children. She is distant but friendly and observes a lot. Until now, she had never trusted anyone else, never wanted to need or depend on anyone. But one day the pressure had become too much whilst her trust had grown: "I need help", she said with tears in her eyes. And help is what she got. Many conversations and counselling sessions led her to finally see perspectives for her life again and to gain new hope.



Counselling services for street children in Berlin



Provide premises, staff and technical equipment for daily social and legal counselling and support in contact with public authorities

Countable effort


Number of counselling hours for street children



30 more street children were regularly accompanied in the process of reintegration and were thus able to find their way back into society

Systemic effect


Shortening of street children's biographies through more effective and efficient counselling and an accompanying reduction of homelessness


According to current studies, there are estimated to be more than 6,500 street children in Germany, mostly between the ages of 14 and 18 (S. Beierle/ C. Hoch, 2017). If we add up all homeless young people up to the age of 26, we are talking about a number of 37,000 throughout Germany (ibid.). It can be observed that the age of children, who decide to live on the streets is decreasing, with the starting age being as low as 12. Berlin – a growing, pulsating city – remains a social hotspot and a place where social injustice is increasing. The anonymity of the big city ensures that young runaways are drawn to Berlin. The team of StraĂźenkinder e.V. seeks out these young people on the fringes of society to offer help and build trust. What seems like arbitrary decisions to outsiders, is often the reaction of children who see no other way out. Lack of attention and love, continuous quarrelling and violence or bullying in school and private contexts are just some of the reasons for young people to end contact with their families and see the street as the only way out.  The street social workers of StraĂźenkinder e.V. have been working on the streets of Berlin for over 20 years. They accompany and support children and young people to get off the streets and back into society and to leading an independent life. Thanks to the help of StraĂźenkinder e.V., about 50 children and young people get off the streets each year. A professional but trusting relationship between the street children and the social workers is crucial for this, because this is the only way to tackle problems and find help. In addition, offers that structure everyday life help the children and adolescents to find a daily rhythm.

The good deed

The aim is to get kids, who come from all over Germany and live on the streets of Berlin, off the streets as quickly as possible in order to prevent them from a further downward spiral and to pave the way to a regular life. Street workers help the children and young people to stabilise themselves whilst providing the essentials for daily living. Today's good deed supports daily psychosocial counselling sessions, as well as legal counselling, support with official and bureaucratic matters and reintegration measures for homeless children and young people. This counteracts the loss of a regular life with functioning daily structures. The basis is trust, which is created through the relationship work with the social workers. Many kids are not reached by conventional approaches and the existing help system. Additional innovative approaches are needed to combat homelessness. With the help of the good deed, close monitoring is possible so that phases of resignation and setbacks can be quickly grasped and mitigated and situations can be reacted to without delay.


About Germany






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Gross domestic product per capita per year



Human Development Index

Alexanderplatz in Berlin is a main port of call for street children. At the same time, it is an important tourist attraction, as the famous Berlin TV Tower is visited here.