Foto­credit: Soheil Honar­mand

The Para­dies­hof

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The Para­dies­hof is owned by the city of Frank­furt, has been empty and decaying since 2008. The Pro­ject Shel­ter initia­tive would like to set up a self-orga­nised migrant centre there. But the city of Frank­furt refu­ses. The dis­pute over the Para­dies­hof is repre­sen­ta­tive of the strug­gles for a city for all. It shows the con­tra­dic­tion bet­ween home­l­ess­ness and vacancy — and how this is ent­an­gled with racism: for exam­ple, the Resi­dence Act ensu­res that many peo­ple newly arri­ving in Frank­furt are not allo­wed to take a job wit­hout a regis­tra­tion address and per­mis­sion from the Labour Office. This sys­te­ma­ti­cally pushes them into home­l­ess­ness.   

Why is a self-orga­nised centre so important? Why is it espe­ci­ally cru­cial in times of a pan­de­mic? What else is Pro­ject Shel­ter fight­ing for? The video docu­ments an action of the initia­tive in May 2020 and cap­tures voices of acti­vists and sup­port­ers:   


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No flat, no jobno job, no flat   

Alt­hough many hou­ses are empty in a city like Frank­furt, peo­ple have to live per­ma­nently on the street. And even in the emer­gency shel­ters there are often not enough places. This is exa­cer­ba­ted by racist exclu­sion: many peo­ple who come to Frank­furt from Euro­pean and non-Euro­pean count­ries are excluded from most social bene­fits. Wit­hout a job they can­not afford a flat, wit­hout a flat they can­not take a job — because for that they need an offi­cial regis­tra­tion address (more on this in the sta­ti­ons The aut­ho­rity for for­eig­ners and Working in Frank­furt). 

Brea­king the vicious cir­cle of home­l­ess­ness   

Because of this vicious cir­cle, many peo­ple who migrate to Frank­furt are per­ma­nently threa­tened by home­l­ess­ness. The­r­e­fore, the acti­vists of Pro­ject Shel­ter have deve­lo­ped a prac­tice of soli­da­rity to sup­port each other in housing, job search and deal­ing with aut­ho­ri­ties. Howe­ver, the cen­tral pro­blem for newly arri­ved peo­ple — lack of housing and no regis­tra­tion addres­ses — can­not be sol­ved wit­hout a house. A self-orga­nised centre is at least a first step towards brea­king the vicious cir­cle. An open neigh­bour­hood café, housing, coun­sel­ling, group rooms, Ger­man cour­ses and events can create an important cont­act point for many peo­ple. In addi­tion, the centre could become a place to fur­ther ally poli­ti­cally. Pro­ject Shel­ter and many other poli­ti­cal and soli­da­rity groups are fight­ing for a city for all, against racist laws like the labor-mar­ket test (Vor­rang­prü­fung), explo­ita­tion at the work­place, depor­ta­ti­ons und racial pro­fil­ing. 

Upgrading« neigh­bour­hoods means exclu­ding peo­ple

There is a reason why the Para­dies­hof con­ti­nues to stand empty ins­tead: the city’s goal is to »upgrade« the buil­ding and the sur­roun­ding pub dis­trict. Upgrading pri­ma­rily means making neigh­bour­hoods more attrac­tive for wealt­hier clas­ses and real estate inves­tors. In the pro­cess, peo­ple with lower inco­mes are dis­pla­ced. In order to achieve upgrading, for exam­ple, buil­dings are moder­nised, ren­ted flats are con­ver­ted into con­do­mi­ni­ums and adver­ti­sing for the dis­trict is car­ried out. The result: the pro­per­ties and land increase in value and more pro­fit can be made from the rising rents. A self-orga­nised centre, which Pro­ject Shel­ter has been fight­ing for since 2014, does not ful­fil this pur­pose of upgrading. It has been rejec­ted by the city govern­ment for years and put on the back bur­ner. Yet a centre with an open neigh­bour­hood café, housing opti­ons, coun­sel­ling ser­vices, Ger­man cour­ses and events could be very valuable for many peo­ple in Frank­furt.   

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The Sta­ti­ons

A house for everyone

A free space for everyone

The Klap­per­feld

Depor­ta­tion pri­sons and the resis­tance against them


The aut­ho­rity for foreigners

The dif­fi­cult way to both a resi­dence and working permit


Working in Frankfurt

The fight for workers’ rights


The Main-Rail­way-Sta­tion

Racial Pro­fil­ing as a con­stant threat


The Para­dies­hof

The fight for a self­or­ga­nised migrant center


The attack in Hanau

Against racist ter­ror and oblivion


The Bahn­hofs­vier­tel

Important hub for migrant life


Mix­tape Migra­tion is finan­ced by your donations

The tour is free for ever­yone and is acces­si­ble to as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble. At the same time, we are depen­dent on dona­ti­ons and sup­port — we want to make the tour bet­ter known and, in a second step, expand it to include addi­tio­nal topics and stations.

The pro­ject is desi­gned, orga­ni­zed and car­ried out by the non-pro­fit asso­cia­tion turn the cor­ner. turn the cor­ner is com­mit­ted to a society in which we tog­e­ther and con­sciously shape how we want to live and work inde­pendently. A society in which peo­ple can be dif­fe­rent wit­hout coer­cion. Learn more about turn the corner.