Coronavirus: Berlin’s largest restaurant turns into a refuge

The Hofbraeu Berlin needed to shut because of the new restrictions because of the coronavirus. So he determined to make use of the place to assist the homeless.

The coronavirus pandemic has not made life on the streets of Berlin simpler for Kaspars Breidaks.

For 3 months, the 43-year-old Latvian has confronted homeless shelters working at lowered capability so that individuals can help themselves. a secure distance every. And with fewer Berliners going out into the open, it is way more troublesome to boost cash begging oreco-collecting bottles to promote for recycling.

However on a chilly winter morning this week, Breidaks encountered a free scorching meal and a spot to heat up, after the biggest restaurant within the German capital, the Hofbraeu Berlin, which closed as a consequence of coronavirus lockdown restrictions, shifted gears to assist the homeless.

“Different homeless individuals on the prepare station instructed me about this place,” Breidaks stated, eradicating a shaggy black hat with lengthy ear flaps as he sat on a bench in the nice and cozy and spacious brewery close to Berlin’s iconic Alexanderplatz sq.. “I got here right here for a scorching soup.”

It was a restaurant worker who volunteered at a shelter who proposed opening the shuttered Bavarian-style brewery, impressed by the well-known Munich institution of the identical title, for the homeless.

It was a transparent proposal from win winstated Hofbraeu supervisor Bjoern Schwarz. Along with serving to the homeless throughout troublesome instances, the city-funded challenge additionally offers the job essential to workers and offers the restaurant welcome earnings.

In cooperation with the town and two wellness organizations, the restaurant shortly developed an idea to obtain as much as 150 homeless on two shifts day-after-day till the tip of winter, and started serving meals on Tuesday.

It is solely a small quantity in comparison with the restaurant’s 3,000 friends, largely vacationers, who would pack the institution throughout good instances. However the spacious hallways have confirmed good for bringing within the homeless and giving them loads of room to keep away from an infection.

“Usually round Christmas time we might have plenty of teams right here for the Christmas holidays after which we might serve pork knuckles, half duck or goose … however not proper nowSchwarz stated. “We’re nonetheless making supply, however clearly that is simply a drop within the bucket. “

Along with serving meals and non-alcoholic drinks and providing the heat of the inside, the restaurant presents its bogs for the homeless to scrub up, and the GEBEWO and Berlin Kaeltehilfe help teams have staff available to supply recommendation and new garments, if wanted.

For its new clientele, the restaurant opened a wood-decorated lounge on the second ground and positioned 40 lengthy tables.

“We’ll provide them one thing totally different from the frequent meals of the soup kitchens: actual plates on porcelain plates, with totally different sides, we’ll attempt to provide christmas fashion dishes with so many flavors, “stated Schwarz.

Breidaks got here to Germany three months in the past in quest of work. However he says the promised job at a meat manufacturing unit by no means materialized and he ended up on the streets of Berlin asking for the cash wanted to switch a stolen passport and purchase a bus ticket again house.

It is likely one of the roughly 2,000 to 12,000 individuals who stay homeless on this metropolis of three.6 million, even after one other 34,000 have been housed in neighborhood shelters, hostels and flats by social providers and personal welfare teams.

“The corona pandemic has significantly worsened the scenario for the homeless, who reside in very precarious circumstances,” stated Elke Breitenbach, senator for social affairs within the Berlin state authorities, whose division is financially supporting the restaurant-turned-shelter.

“They do not have sufficient to eat and when it is chilly they need to have locations to heat up,” added Breitenbach.

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