Bonn/Region · A large number of people displaced by the war in Ukraine are arriving in Bonn and the region. They need a place to stay, but also clothing, food and toys for the children. Here is what you need to know if you want to help.
It did not take long for the first refugees from Ukraine to arrive in Bonn and the region. In Bad Honnef, for example, some arrived just five days after the outbreak of war. From the western part of the country, a young woman and her three sons made the arduous journey across the Hungarian border and on to the Siebengebirge. They found accommodation in an apartment that a couple spontaneously made available. In the meantime, more and more people come, displaced by the war. And the willingness to help is great. Many are also wondering how they can help. Here are some questions and answers.
■ Do I have to ask my landlord if I want to take in refugees?
If they stay for up to eight weeks, they are considered visitors. According to the Tenants' Association, however, landlords must generally give their consent for a longer stay. There is an exception if the persons taken in are spouses, partners, children or parents. Anyone who takes in refugees for a longer period without the consent of their landlords is putting the tenancy at risk.
■ What is the rule for owners of an apartment?
It is not necessary to obtain permission from the others in the apartment building, says Haus & Grund. It is only necessary to ensure that the apartment is not overcrowded. When this is the situation, it must be examined in each individual case.
■ Are there minimum requirements for the accommodations?
It should meet your own requirements and be humane - regardless of whether the offer is for an entire apartment or just part of an apartment.
■ What is the situation in Bonn?
The city asks those who would like to make an offer of assistance to refugees from Ukraine or have general questions to call 0228/ 77-4900. The hotline is available daily, including weekends, from 9 am to 5 pm. Anyone who can accommodate refugees in their home or provide an apartment can contact the city at www.bonn.de. However, it asks that only people who can provide accommodation for as long as possible get in touch. The municipal capacities are almost exhausted.
■ Where can I take material donations in Bonn?
A central point of collection is the non-profit “Zentrallager Sachspenden Bonn” (ZeSaBo), Endenicher Strasse 95. It accepts, for example, clothing, shoes, textiles, laundry and household items from private and commercial donors and provides them free of charge to private individuals and institutions who care for those in need (www.zesabo.de).
■ How many refugees have already arrived in Bonn?
156 have been accommodated so far: 71 in municipal accommodations and 85 in hotels. In addition, the city has been able to place 42 people in private accommodations. There are also those who have been taken in by relatives and acquaintances as well as in the state's Central Accommodation Facility in Bad Godesberg. According to the Cologne district government, 240 Ukrainian refugees are currently living there. This means that capacities there are also exhausted.
■ What happens next?
This Thursday, the city of Bonn and the German Red Cross set up a mobile reception area on Budapester Strasse between C&A and Windeckbunker to provide care and assistance for those just arriving. Refugees can stay there temporarily until they receive accommodation.
■ What official bureaus need to be contacted upon arrival (either by the refugees themselves or their helpers)?
First, they should go to the Bürgeramt (service center). Appointments via e-mail: email@example.com or by phone at 0228/77-6677. Then apply for a residence permit to the Ukraine contact point at the Foreigners' Registration Office. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 0228/77-6052 or 77-6053.
■ What are the regulations for children?
According to the School Law, compulsory schooling applies once the residence permit is issued and the child is assigned to a place of residence. More information is available at email@example.com or 01590/19 13 017. For smaller children, childcare places can be provided in the municipal daycare centers, depending on if there is capacity. For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0228/77-4070. Children can first come to the facilities as visitors.
■ What is the situation in the Rhein-Sieg district?
Information is to be provided at a press conference on Friday.
■ What is the situation in the municipalities of the district? Take Bad Honnef, for example.
Head of the social welfare office Nadine Batzella coordinates the offers of help. "So far, not a single refugee has been accommodated in a municipal shelter," she says. This is also thanks to the commitment of the people, who provided private living spaces quickly and with great willingness to help. 51 have arrived so far. But Bad Honnef also draws on experience from the wave of refugees in 2015: "The structures are still working today and could be activated quickly," says Batzella.
■ Are there still available apartments?
"As of Wednesday, we have been offered 31 places in apartments," Batzella explains. Another 60 temporary places are available, for example, in guest rooms in private apartments. Nevertheless, he says, the city is examining where and how further accommodation can be created and is in contact with private and commercial providers. Residents are also asked to report vacant apartments to the city - by e-mail to email@example.com. As of this week, the city has also activated a donation traffic light on its website https://meinbadhonnef.de, which indicates the need for food, clothing or toys.
Orig. text: Heike Hamann, Lisa Inhoffen, Bernd Eyermann