Welcome-Center is opening its doors

Welcome-Center is opening its doors

Welcome-Center is opening its doors


The rooms of the “Welcome-Center” in Kieli Road (German: Kieler Straße) are surrounded by a colonnade. The three residential buildings can house the total of 150 refugees.

The rooms in the two-storey residential buildings of the “Welcome-Centre” opposite the fire house in Kiel Road look practical and modest: three beds and six cabinet modules resembling deposit lockers – this is what a typical room for three looks like. Four of such bedrooms form one unit designed for twelve people, which includes a front room with tables, chairs, a stove and a fridge and two bathrooms with a shower, toilet and faucet. There is just nine square meters of residential area per person in the three buildings. “We have rooms for one to up to four people,” Tanja Gaspers, a city official, explains. The refugees should move out in four to six weeks. The cost of the three-million-euro construction works, which, among other things, include a one-storey building for trainings, is covered by the city from the funds allocated for aiding refugees by the federal government and the federal states.

“There is not a lot of room, but everything is in very good order,” says Hermann Nass. The resident of Dormagen and his wife, Rita, who is involved with voluntary work wanted to see the refugee shelter built in four months with their own eyes. They were two of the more than two hundred visitors who came to see the centre of Thursday – others included several Council members and many other volunteers. There is still planing of greenery ongoing outside – some of the visitors were already attempting to figure out how to acquire the missing playground installations.

Robert Krumbein, adviser of the City Government, Tanja Gaspers, Head of the Financial Department, Volker Lewerenz, Head of Integration Issues, and employees of the centre had taken a lot of time for the visitors. Krumbein replied to the question of a visitor of whether the refugees would have to clean their rooms themselves clearly: “Yes”. Lewerenz decisively refuted a rumour as if the refugees would be supplied with food by a catering company. “They will be taking care of themselves, cooking and going to the grocery store,” he highlighted the goal to allow the refugees as much independence as possible. Gaspers added that those applying for asylum will also have to buy clothing and everything else required for the monthly 320.14 euros, which they are entitled to on the basis of the Act of Asylum Seekers. “Thereat, we would of course also like to point out the Dormagen Food Bank (German: Dormagener Tafel) with its clothing and food aid,” Gaspers said.

The “Welcome-Center” will employ one full-time administrative employee assisted by two social workers of flexible schedules, a housekeeper who will also be on-call in weekends, and may volunteers. There will also be two security guards present around the clock. Other services will also be involved in the first stage of dealing with the refugees, for example the employment centre.

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