A place to sleep and learn: martas Guesthouses City Central Berlin
In every large city, poverty, vulnerability, begging and homelessness are particularly obvious at the central railway stations. Often the motto is: look away and keep walking. Our martas guesthouses Berlin Central Station are located directly on the vast grounds of the Berlin City Mission. Why not make the most of a class or group trip to find out from staff on site how the Berlin City Mission addresses these issues and what help it offers to people in need? Our tours are free of charge unless otherwise stated. However, we are glad if you support our work with a donation:
Verein für Berliner Stadtmission
IBAN: DE67 3702 0500 0003 1555 00
Bank für Sozialwirtschaft
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Thematic focus on poverty, homeless- and homelessness
“How can you really help a homeless person?”, “Why doesn’t he simply rent a flat?” or “Why doesn’t she just stop drinking?” These are all questions that want to be asked and answered. As part of guided tours and workshops, we offer to tell you and your class or group what the Berlin City Mission is doing to address the needs of homeless people. You will learn how people without shelter can take a shower, charge their mobile phones, get shoes that fit, get medical treatment even though they have no insurance, and where they can get hot coffee. The tours are led by staff who are experts in their field. The aim of our offers is to educate the heart: only knowledge can sharpen views, promote understanding and broaden horizons.
As part of a guided tour, you will gain an insight into the work of the Berliner Stadtmission in the centre close to Berlin’s main railway station. There are currently 16 facilities on the large, park-like grounds – all in the direct vicinity of the martas guest houses. You can choose between a 30-minute tour and a 90-minute presentation of the centre followed by a discussion. Both offers are free of charge, but we would be happy if you support the work of the Berliner Stadtmission with a donation.
Maximum group of 10 – 25 people
Venue: Berliner Stadtmission, Centre at the main station, Lehrter Str. 68, 10557 Berlin
If you make a donation, please indicate the reason for the donation in the bank transfer: Tour ZAH
After going down the stairs, the entrance to another world opens up. In the winding rooms of the overnight shelter run by the Berliner Stadtmission on the grounds close to the main railway station, you get an impression of these premises during a guided tour. You will learn about the human and also organisational challenges. Guided tours are only possible during the daily closing times. The offer is free of charge, but we are grateful if you support the work of the Berliner Stadtmission with a donation of money or goods. It is also possible for a maximum of five people, all of whom must be over 18 years of age, to volunteer to help out at the food bank for one evening.
Group size 5 – 20 people
Duration 30 – 60 minutes (as needed)
Time slot: during the week 9 a.m. – 7 p.m., on weekends 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Venue: Berliner Stadtmission, Stairs of the overnight stay, Lehrter Str. 68, 10557 Berlin
When making a donation, please state the purpose of use Visit NUE
On average, the Berlin City Mission receives 11 tonnes of donations per week. In winter, this can rise to 20 tonnes. These include donations of clothes, suitcases, household appliances, shoes, bed linen and much more. The Komm & Sieh team is grateful for this mass of donations, but at the same time this volume presents the employees with logistical challenges. The linchpin is the TEXTILHAFEN, where all donations arrive, are sorted by hand and it is decided what to do with them. The aim is for as many donations as possible to go to the Berliner Stadtmission’s clothing store, where they can be distributed to homeless people. We know that clean and intact clothing enables participation and protection. But what if many donations are unusable or don’t fit men, 90% of whom are guests at the clothing centre, because they are women’s clothes? What if wool keeps you warm in winter, but many items of clothing are almost fashionable and made of polyester? Here we show you what we do specifically to ensure that as many donations as possible remain in the textile cycle and do not have to be disposed of.
TEXTILHAFEN is located in a warehouse on the northern S-Bahn ring road. Every week, tonnes of donations arrive there, which the employees sort by hand. They have to decide in seconds whether a donation can be given to the clothing store for homeless people, resold in one of the second-hand shops run by Komm & Sieh, the Berlin City Mission’s inclusion organisation, or offered to people in the materials pool. Part of the truth is also that not everything can remain in the textile cycle, but donations also have to be disposed of. Hear and see what ends up in the TEXTILHAFEN during a guided tour. It is also possible to take part in one of the five workshops and make a unique item from what looks like textile waste.
Maximum group size 15 people
Duration 45 -60 min
With interactive elements
Cost: €50 – please pay in cash on site
A combination of guided tour and workshop is possible
Venue: TEXTILHAFEN, Storkower Str. 139D, 10407 Berlin
What other people consider to be textile waste can be turned into something unique in just a few steps: your very own cuddly toy, an origami bag, your own Berlin bag or an item of clothing with an original print. The workshops organised by WaterToWine, the upcycling label of Komm & Sieh, the inclusion company of the Berlin City Mission, are suitable for all age groups. In addition to touching and understanding, the aim of these workshops is to educate participants in an age-appropriate way about the waste of textile resources and to show them possible solutions. A workshop can be combined with a guided tour of the TEXTILHAFEN.
There are five different workshops: #upcycling socks, #press&print, #myberlinbag, #textiletattoo and #origami bag
The workshops are suitable for daycare groups, school classes, student groups and adults
Group size 7 – 10 or 14 people
Duration 1 – 3 h
Costs: vary between €15 and €45 per head
A combination of workshop and guided tour is possible
Venue: WaterToWine, Storkower Str. 139D, 10407 Berlin
More and more people are fleeing around the world. More and more people are forced, voluntarily and involuntarily, to find a new home in a foreign place. In a big city like Berlin, it can be easy to make connections, but the many opportunities can also be overwhelming. The many new arrivals can trigger worries and fears in people who have already found their home. Our tours are designed to help people understand the causes of flight, what it takes for integration to succeed, and to educate the heart.
In the heart of Berlin’s Neukölln neighbourhood, you will get to know the “Refugio” project as part of a guided tour. A project in which refugees from a total of 10 nations have been living and working since 2015. It is considered a model project for integration. In addition to living quarters, the building houses a café, event rooms, exciting initiatives, a studio floor and a great roof top terrace. You can choose between a 20-minute and 45-minute guided tour. A question and answer session is possible on the long tour.
Maximum group of 2 – 20 people (short tour) or 2 – 30 people (long tour)
Cost: 75 € for the short tour, 150 € for the long tour
External provider of the guided tours: querstadtein e.V (registered association)
At this point, we recommend guided tours that the Berlin City Mission does not conduct itself, but that have a similar theme. We ourselves have taken part in the tours that we advertise here. Digital formats can also reach other target groups.
Querstadtein offers guided tours at various locations in Berlin by people who have experienced homelessness themselves. Furthermore, tours are offered by people who have a migration biography. The tours last 90 or 120 minutes. Querstadtein also offers digital formats, including an audio walk around Zoologischer Garten station, as well as a digital tour via Actionbound app that can be conducted regardless of location. As not all tour guides speak English, please check if you need to bring a translator.
Maximum group for guided tours: 25 people
Digital formats possible
Price 205 € per school class (subsidised free tours available on request)
Venue depending on the tour