Sponsorships for the “Villa Stöckle” Weglaufhaus
can you imagine taking on an unusual role as a sponsor? Unusual because it is a sponsorship for a house: the Weglaufhaus “Villa Stöckle” in Berlin.
The “Villa Stöckle” Weglaufhaus is a refuge for people in social need and mental crises. In the crisis facility Weglaufhaus “Villa Stöckle”, which is recognized by the Berlin Senate, fears, worries and hopes are accepted, even if they are so unusual that psychiatrists dismiss them as symptoms of an illness and derive from this a right to coercive measures. Shackling (“fixation”) is still common practice in psychiatric wards. Psychotropic drugs, which have considerable “side” effects, paralyze feelings, energies and creativity. They often lead to a painful loss of vitality. The potential inherent in all crises cannot be mobilized in this way. Therefore, the residents ofthe “Villa Stöckle” Weglaufhaus are supported in discontinuing psychotropic drugs and discovering other, self-determined ways to cope with their situation.
What happens in the Weglaufhaus?
The up to 13 residents of “Villa Stöckle” organize their daily life in a house community on their own responsibility. Staff members are present around theclockand offer their help in the form of
They offer their help in the form of conversations, accompaniment to offices or doctors, walks, everyday activities, and much more. Together with them, the residents develop perspectives for a self-determined life in their own apartment or in a socially assisted living arrangement. There are no coercive measures or closed doors here; instead, openness and transparency apply: everyone can leave whenever she or he wants. Files, reports and notes are available to residents, without exception.
The staff members have their own experience with mental crises, half of them have been affected by psychiatry themselves.
How is the “Villa Stöckle” Weglaufhaus financed?
The “Villa Stöckle” Weglaufhaus is run by the non-profit, charitable Verein zum Schutz vor psychiatrischer Gewalt e.V. (Association for Protection against Psychiatric Violence). The first and so far only Weglaufhaus in Germany is financed by a daily rate negotiated with the Berlin Senate Department for Social Affairs in accordance with §§ 67 SGB XII (“Help in Special Social Difficulties”). Due to the intensive care we offer, the Weglaufhaus is expensive compared to other homeless facilities with a daily rate of 191,97 €. In comparison to psychiatric clinics (170 – 350 €), however, it is extremely favorable.
What is our current situation?
the year of the tiger is coming to an end. We remember the light and dark moments, the changes and changes that affect the house and keep it alive. Therefore, as in all the previous years, we would like to keep you informed and this time we start with pleasant signs of the times.
As you may remember, this year began with an anxious feeling on our part. Where do we stand, or rather, do we want to go, or more precisely, where can we go. From this burden and the dull feeling of powerlessness to shake the Senate requirements on the example of the conception anyway not to be able, developed however an enormous fighting spirit in the team, not to want to let themselves be defeated. The result is to be noticed at a constantly high extent of utilization in the last months, so that the existence of the Weglaufhaus is secured on this basis at present. Unfortunately, due to the abundance of inquiries, we also had to turn down many people who asked for a place. This shows more than once clearly how important the existence of an anti-psychiatric facility is for many people in crisis situations.
In the wake of the existential threat situation, the Weglaufhaus launched a large-scale advertising campaign at the beginning of the year. For this purpose, our poster as well as our flyers were relaunched.
Posters were displayed in the city’s subway stations and our flyers were sent to all social institutions in the city known to us. The response was huge and many interested people asked for a project presentation, so that we could present ourselves well in terms of content. We very much hope that these contacts will have an effect in the right places.
Now that the preservation of the Weglaufhaus is financially secured, we can start with the renovation work, as our premises are in urgent need of refurbishment. Some hard-working residents as well as staff members have already started with it. A large part of the residents’ rooms has already been renovated. Next, we will turn our attention to the common rooms. For the painting of doors and heaters we decided to hire a company from the social sector. This company puts formerly homeless people back to work with training in the building trade. Next, we dedicated ourselves to sanding the parquet floors in the house. For this we were able to hire someone from the friends of the house
We would also like to replace some furniture. The old sofas have had their day. We currently lack new cabinets, garden furniture and much more. Therefore, we are grateful for any form of donations in kind, but would prefer to sift through them first.
A major investment that took place this year was the renewal of the heating system of the house.
In July of this year, we said goodbye to a very special person in the team. Our janitor Ludger Bruckmann went into well-deserved retirement. His departure left a big hole in the team. Nevertheless, we hope that he will continue to make the residents and staff happy with his visits and provide dedicated support with cleaning. We wish Ludger Bruckmann all the best for his new phase of life and hope very much that he will enjoy it.
Another long-time colleague Uschi Trinkle left our team last year. In return, we were able to welcome our new employees Jenny Buse, Torge Hartmann and Rosemarie Leske to the team. Nevertheless, we are still looking for committed and psychiatrically experienced social workers as well as student employees and interns to support our team.
On the organizational level, the trainee support was fundamentally changed and thus structurally improved.
Also on the association level some things have changed. Since the first of April our association rooms are located in Kreuzigerstr.18 in Berlin-Friedrichshain. Since we were located in Mitte together with three other associations and we now had to look for a new domicile alone as an association, the rent for our old rooms in Mitte was no longer affordable for us. We found an old-established house project in Kreuzigerstraße as a landlord, which was able to rent us a small store apartment on the first floor at a very reasonable price.
The team of the individual case help project Support has been able to increase to six people in the last year and our counseling center can take place regularly again with new strength after a difficult period of acclimatization.
At the end of September the ENUSP meeting took place in Thessaloniki, Greece. In view of the congress to be held next year, some stakeholders were able to engage in a dialogue at the European level on the topic of affected person control. We were able to attract interested parties to the event as well as to look at discourses on the implementation of guidelines on a national level using the example of the UN Convention. Unfortunately, we had to realize that not all that glitters is gold and warm words, even written ones, do not always serve the well-being of the masses.
In November of this year, the “Intervoice” took place in Sherwood Forest near Nottingham, where our colleagues Christiane Carri and David Wichera were able to bring back suggestions worthy of support for the team. This was an international congress on the topic of “Hearing voices”.
The Weglaufhaus celebrates its 15th anniversary on 15.01.2011!
For this reason we are organizing a big party which will take place on January 15, 2011 at Kinzigstraße 9 in Berlin Friedrichshain. We would like to invite you and your friends! You will find more information about the party in the coming days in your mailbox or on our website.
We would like to thank you for your long lasting interest in our projects and main topics. As always, we would like to ask for your small support for the Weglaufhaus. The donations are used, among other things, to make extraordinary events possible for our residents, as well as for a redesign of the house and various other expenses that are by no means included in our daily rates.
Our association is recognized as a non-profit and charitable organization – we will gladly issue donation receipts if you provide us with your contact information.
Kathrin Vogel and Christiane Carri, December 2010