As biting cold grips Germany each night, a clergyman sets off on a mission that could mean the difference between life and death for Berlin’s homeless.
They have little to show for living in Europe’s economic superpower. So Wolfgang Gerhard takes them onboard his ‘Cold Bus’, providing a lift to a local shelter.
Explaining why he started his rounds, the pastor and social worker said: “I witnessed a man lying on the street. People were passing by and no-one cared. He was in a coma. He had had seizures. And that is what moves me….that someone can lie on the street and die of a seizure and nobody calls an ambulance.”
Offering food to those who need it most, the Protestant Church group behind the scheme aims to give the homeless in Berlin a fighting chance against the elements.
“I am afraid, every day and every night,” said Katie, one woman sleeping outdoors. “If you are homeless and you sleep on a park bench, you drink to survive the cold. When you wake up in the morning after two or three hours sleep, you know you have made it through the night.”
And it is a never-ending struggle, night after night, for Berlin’s homeless and for the German capital’s very special bus driver.