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Refugee support service

It is a tall promise—to provide refugees with help and support that reaches them. But that is what we have vowed to do, and what the Diakonisches Werk Heidelberg (the social welfare organisation of the Protestant church in Heidelberg) makes every effort to provide. More and more people are forced to flee all kinds of dangers, leaving their home and familiar surroundings behind. These days, over 50 million people are fleeing violence, hunger and persecution.

What we at the Diakonisches Werk Heidelberg want to do, as a large team and in co-operation with the Asylarbeitskreis Heidelberg (a volunteer NGO supporting refugees in Heidelberg), the Caritas Verband Heidelberg e. V. (Caritas Heidelberg), the City of Heidelberg and a wide range of other action groups: Together, we provide help, support and assistance to vulnerable persons who have had to flee their home countries—regardless of how long ago this was, whether they want to be part of our life in Heidelberg permanently or for a limited time only.

Yes, we explicitly want these vulnerable persons to be “part of our life in Heidelberg”, advocating true integration and inclusion via our following services:

  • refugee support at the refugee registration centre Heidelberg (Patrick-Henry-Village, PHV)
  • refugee support directly in Heidelberg

Refugee support service at the registration centre Heidelberg (PHV) — for all who have newly arrived

Together with the Caritas Verband Heidelberg, we offer an independent advice service on social welfare and asylum process matters (at the so-called “Counselling Center for Refugees”). In Patrick-Henry-Village, we welcome newly arrived persons who were forced to flee their home countries and are now facing the complex and often confusing asylum process. We want to make sure that vulnerable persons are located and provided with independent expert advice and any support they may require.

Important to know: Our advisers provide social advocacy services—we aim to support and empower our clients. Our services include:

  • independent advice on social welfare and asylum process matters
  • co-ordination of volunteer work
  • streetwork and community work

Refugee support service in Heidelberg — for all who have come to stay for a while or longer

In the summer of 2016, about 540 accepted refugees have been given accommodation in one of the residential centres provided by the City of Heidelberg or in apartments located in different parts of town while their asylum application is being processed or after having been granted leave to remain. The Diakonisches Werk Heidelberg is there for refugees and their families, offering independent advice for refugees on social welfare matters, supplementary support and any answers we can give to questions you may have.

All this we provide in the following services:

  • advice service for refugees and on matters related to residential law
  • refugee advice service for parishes and community action groups
  • immigration advice service for adult immigrants
  • advice service on prospects of sustainable voluntary return and reintegration
  • co-ordination of volunteering activities, expert knowledge and experience exchange, and networking activities
  • various volunteering projects, such as
    • Mov'in Heidelberg—volunteers assisting refugees in their search for accommodation
    • LanguageMediatorNetwork Heidelberg
    • refugee assistance volunteers
    • integration assistance volunteers