Self-managed living and working for homeless people in Cologne
In this section of the magazine, we would like to draw attention to special people and projects that actively work for the environment, society and community, thus creating added value for all of us.
One of these organizations is the association OmZ Homeless with a Future.
OmZ is an innovative model for self-managed living and working for homeless people in Cologne. At the onset of the Corona pandemic, they occupied a former vacant office building on the grounds of Cologne's wholesale market. OmZ understands housing as a human right and offers low-threshold access to housing, support for reintegration and the creation of personal perspectives. Through the joint efforts of residents and a broad circle of supporters, evictions have been prevented, reintegration measures successfully initiated and the homelessness of many people ended. Furthermore, a heterogeneous house community has formed, consisting of a wide variety of lifestyles, attitudes and backgrounds.
In addition, OmZ also works on its own projects for example as a part of the "Kunstroute Süd" (Art Route South), in which the building was transformed into a kind of off-space art gallery. The goal was to create something original and beautiful in a seemingly hopeless situation. It's about home, relationships, trust - stories we all know.
In the meantime, OmZ has moved to a municipal property in Cologne-Deutz. Homeless with a Future is a good example of tolerance and humanity from which urban society can still learn a thing or two.
In 2020, we supported OmZ with our 3% additional revenue as part of the VAT reduction. The reduction was an attempt to counteract the economic consequences of the Corona pandemic. We passed on the additional 3% we collected and gave it to a different local institution worthy of support each month.