Major homelessness census in Berlin falls short of previous estimates

A night-time initiative to count the homeless population of Berlin, touted as a Germany-wide first, fell far short of previous estimates, according to the final figure.

Volunteers counted 1,976 homeless people in the German capital, Elke Breitenbach, senator for social affairs in the city government, announced on Friday.

Authorities had previously estimated that anywhere between 6,000 and 10,000 people are without a fixed abode in Berlin.

Around 2,600 volunteers took to the streets on a night in late January to conduct the count. Breitenbach said it was likely that they didn’t find all the city’s homeless people.

Around a third of those surveyed by the teams gave details about themselves. Fifty-five per cent of them were aged between 30 and 49, 84 per cent were male.

The initiative, dubbed the “Night of Solidarity,” was intended to give city authorities a better idea of how to allocate resources.

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