Direct Support Halle – in english

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Dear all,
the Direct Support Halle is no longer active since the end of 2020 and the website has not been updated since.
We are looking for people who would like to continue the project – please write to coronadirectsupport_halle@riseup.net if you are interested.
If there are any news, we will share them here and on our social media. Until then, we are unfortunately not organizing any money collections/redistributions any more.
Feel free to check out leipzig.directsupport.care or the Berlin Community Mietrettungsfonds if you are looking for similar initiatives. If you’re searching for campaigning/advocacy groups around economic justice (in a German context), there is e.g. Basta Berlin, Sanktionsfrei and Wer hat der gibt – we linked these and some more on our Twitter, too.
Hoping and wishing for a 2021 full of solidarity!
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Find all other/older updates here

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Liebe alle,
der Direct Support Halle ist seit Ende 2020 nicht mehr aktiv und die Informationen auf der Website wurden seitdem nicht aktualisiert.
Wir suchen nach Menschen, die das Projekt gerne übernehmen wollen – falls du Interesse hast, schreib uns sehr gerne an coronadirectsupport_halle@riseup.net.
Falls es Neuigkeiten gibt, werden wir sie hier und auf unseren Social Media Kanälen veröffentlichen. Bis auf weiteres organisieren wir also leider keine Runden oder Solitöpfe mehr.
Bis dahin, schaut gerne bei leipzig.directsupport.care oder dem Berliner Mietrettungsfonds vorbei wenn ihr auf der Suche nach einem ähnlichen Projekt wie unserem seid. Wenn ihr nach Initiativen sucht, die politisch zu Themen von Verteilungsgerechtigkeit arbeiten, schaut z.B. bei Basta Berlin, Sanktionsfrei oder Wer hat der gibt vorbei – diese und weitere haben wir auf Twitter verlinkt.
Auf ein solidarisches 2021!
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alle weiteren / älteren Updates findet ihr hier!

For many of us, the whole situation around the Corona virus means losing our income, or a large part of it.

The crisis is reinforcing pre-existing inequality: Not everyone is eligible for governmental financial aid, and not all of us have families, circles of friends or other networks that can help through financial emergencies. In many ways people from marginalized communities are more affected by the crisis, while more privileged people have more options to help themselves.

Direct Support Halle is a reaction to this. We organize community-based, voluntary redistribution of funds, based on solidarity. This way, people who are not entitled to government aid and who have no contacts to people with money themselves can still find some kind of financial support when in need. People who for example have a secured income or enough money in their account can share some of it with people with acute financial needs in an easy and unbureaucratic way.

17.018€ restributed – directly, unbureaucraticly, based on solidarity

More than 17.000€ have already been redistributed!

Current funding round:

Here you can find the current fund, which you are more than welcome to contribute to:

Link to current funding round

We seek and distribute financial contributions in funding rounds so that we can guarantee that the funds raised will go directly and immediately to someone in need of financial support.

Link to current funding round

Next round:

If you are in urgent financial need, we can support you in the next funding round – please see here for further information.

For Freelancers / people with their own business:

For students (since end of June):

Unemployment and basic provision (links in German)

Financial support for the rent (links in German)

Parental/child benefits (links in German)

For sex workers: (links in German)

For freelancers in the fields of arts and culture: (links in German)

For international students: (links in German)

For migrants:

How does the Direct Support work?

If you urgently need money, the listed support options don‘t work for you and your own networks cannot help you with funds, either, get in touch with us: coronadirectsupport_halle@riseup.net!

Each week, there is a new funding round on the platform betterplace.me, where we collect the specific amount of money people that got in touch with us need.

At the end of each week, all the money that has been collected is sent to the according people and we start the next round (for a new set of people). Unfortunately, often times not the full sums of money are covered in each round anymore. When that is the case, the collected money is divided equally between the people from the round.

The platform betterplace.me charges 2,7% of the collected sum. The rest of the money we pass on and don‘t keep any of it for ourselves.

If you have any questions about the procedure, please get in touch!

Can you share some money?

Here you can find the current fund, which you are more than welcome to contribute to: Link to current funding round

Who is behind this?

The Corona Direct Support Halle was started by a „self-organized group of four young people who did not want to just sit there and watch people being left alone with existential fears.“

After three weeks, during which nearly 20 people were supported with over 10.000€, they decided to hand over the project.

Now it‘s us three behind the initiative: Luisa, Kolja and Ida.

FAQ

Why is this kind of support needed?

  • Because there are people in financial distress who have no access to / don‘t qualify for financial support from the state and other institutions. If the people around a person in this situation cannot chip in with the costs for rent, food, etc. either, the basic necessities of housing, medical care, food, etc are threatened. We don‘t think this should be the case for anyone – which is why we want to organize quick, unbureaucratic support for such emergency situations, for cases where other support systems fail.
  • People who have more financial security can share it with others through this initiative.
  • We want to help organize our communities in a way that we help each other out during emergency situations – or ideally in ways that would prevent these emergencies.

But isn‘t the welfare state there for that?

  • Benefits from the welfare state are conditional, and not everyone meets their conditions. For example, only people who were previously employed on a permanent basis receive short-time work benefits – those who have been working on a per-hour basis can only apply for little over €400 ALG II (HartzIV). People without papers or a legal residency status can’t apply for any of these, and although legally they should still be getting medical care as needed, even this doesn‘t work in reality. Only people with an official rental contract can apply for finanial support for rent, and so on. So all in all, many people still get into financial emergencies that should not exist in a „welfare state“. We firmly believe that regardless of any formalities, all people are entitled to have their living costs and basic needs secured, but unfortunately the official safety net has holes.

Who exactly gets this direct support?

  • The project is intended to help people who are currently having acute problems paying for basic things like rent, health insurance, food, medication etc. „Acute problems“ meaning that one has no possibility to get help from authorities (e.g. due to citizenship/residency) and no other network (e.g. family of origin, political network, followers on social media) that can provide support at the moment. (See also [in german]: https://maedchenmannschaft.net/so-sieht-solidaritaet-aus-umverteilung-in-zeiten-von-corona/)
  • We trust and dependent on people assessing their own situation realistically and with consideration for others.
  • We especially want to address people who are affected by existing forms of discrimination. (Structural) discrimination has led to some people, based on – among other things – where they (supposedly) come from, chronic illnesses, disabilities and gender identity, to live in more precarious working and/or living conditions than people who are not experiencing these forms of discrimination. This also leads to fewer access options to governmental and other financial support.

How do you know that the people who are supported really need the money?

  • Firstly we ask everyone to consider as many other options as possible for geting funds. But we trust people to know best themselves whether or not they urgently need money, and that this possibility of getting support is used with consideration. We cannot and do not want to check people‘s situations through any kind of “means test“. The Direct Support initiative is intended to provide quick relief where there are gaps in formal, bureaucratic systems – and we don’t think we will get there by operating in the same logic of mistrust and control. So instead, we go for unbureaucratic, direct support and trusting people to be responsible for themselves and to act with solidarity and consideration.

How exactly does this work? 

Why do you not use the word donate?

  • Income, wealth and securities (financial, employment, etc.) are distributed very unequally in our society. We think it is important to keep this in mind when we talk about giving money or receiving money from someone.
  • „Charity“ contexts, in which the term „donation“ is often used, sometimes ignore this unequal distribution as a point of departure. People who need money are then often portrayed as helpless and subservient. Contrary to that, we think it is more of a failure of our society and its institutions when the existence of individuals is threatened by a lack of funds, and not a failure, nor to be shamed for, of those affected.
  • Moreover, charity often times is about donating money somewhere for a short time only, and not about changing the structural reasons for the lack of resources (about how money is distributed in our society). In our opinion, this is too short a thought. With the term redistribution we point to the idea that money (and necessities like housing, medical care etc) should perhaps be distributed in such a way that people simply do not get into acute financial distress and that initiatives like this actually should not have to exist – regardless of Corona and other crises.
  • So in practice, the act of donating and sharing / redistributing money is the same thing – it‘s just a matter of terminology and principles..

Join us!

We are very happy about people who would be interested to help us keep this initiative going!

We understand that people have different amounts of available time. We welcome any form of engagement – whether for a short or longer time! So please get in touch if you‘re interested: coronadirectsupport_halle@riseup.net

Examples of things that can or need to be done: translations, graphics / design, updating and expanding the list of links to resources, contacting individuals and organizations, … If our group grows, we might be able to organize even more practical support, like mutual aid for shopping and other errands etc.

At this stage we are a group of white, non-disabled people enrolled in universities. Working with this initiative puts us in a position of power over those people in acute emergency situations who turn to us (or consider doing so), and we would prefer a more diverse group to fill this position of power than we currently are. Therefore we want to explicitly invite people who are affected by racism, are migrants, with an insecure residence status, who are chronically ill or disabled and people whose work is illegalized to join our team. We don’t expect full-time commitment, so feel free to contact us, even if you don’t have super much time on your hands but are nevertheless interested.

Similar projects / other cities:

Please don‘t hesitate to contact us if you would like to start a similar local initiative in your community, or if you are already organizing it and would like to exchange!