There would be a need for more full-time staff in Stuttgart to take care of the refugees. But the city finds too few people.
In order to better organize the arrival and distribution of the Ukrainian refugees, the city will set up a central contact point near the main railway station over the next few weeks. The building on Heilbronner Straße 20 in the LBBW complex is rented for this purpose, where a large fitness studio was previously housed. This is where the initial medical examination of the refugees and the registration of the identification service must take place. One wants to gather these tasks “in one place,” said social mayor Alexandra Sußmann (Greens) on Monday in the council’s social committee.
About 6,000 refugees from Ukraine currently live in Stuttgart, and the city has housed about 3,300 in three halls and in large hotels. A significant proportion of those affected have found housing privately with relatives and acquaintances. Among the refugees are many women with a total of about 2000 children.
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The mayor also commented on the criticism from refugee helpers and some council factions that in the sometimes very large homes in the care of the refugees, too many tasks weighed on the shoulders of the volunteers. The goal is a professionalization of care, Alexandra Sußmann explained. However, this task cannot be accomplished at present without the great commitment of the refugee helpers. We are also “very grateful” for that. For this reason, the situation is “unsatisfactory”. But mobile teams of full-time employees of the Malteser-Hilfsdienst are also active, the mayor stressed. The independent providers of refugee assistance have also taken steps to improve the situation. But even that is not enough. You are not unemployed either, the social mayor stated, but due to the lack of skilled workers, it was simply “difficult to get people – we do not have the staff”.
The registration of refugees is progressing slowly
The registration of refugees has so far only progressed slowly. Not the first step in the process, as Albrecht Stadler, the head of the supervisory department responsible, made clear. About 5,000 people were already registered here by the end of last week. The problem is the following identification service recording with fingerprint, biometric photo and data comparison. The city has only two units for this action, which was previously carried out in the state’s original reception centers. And thus only 340 refugees are registered. An additional eight units are to be used this week with support from the Federal Office for Migration and ten employees from the job center. “We hope we will make rapid progress then,” Stadler said. This registration is important for starting work and integration processes.
Treasurer Thomas Fuhrmann (CDU) explained the costs incurred of around 43 million euros so far. At the end of the year, he assumes about 70 million euros. The treasurer, however, expects financial support from the federal and state governments. The share that comes to the city can be managed by a good annual accounts for 2021 without a special budget.
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The biggest challenge is medium- or long-term accommodation of the refugees. According to the cashier, about 500 private rental offers are currently being investigated. He asked for your understanding that this would take time. The test is “extremely complex”, you have to “look at each object”. But even these apartments will not be enough. Therefore, vacant commercial properties as housing for at least two to three years are also examined. According to Fuhrmann, up to 350 people could find medium-sized housing in the Eiermann area of Vaihingen. The chamberlain and the social mayor announced a more comprehensive concept for more living space to accommodate refugees.