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Text "Kältehilfe 2023/23, emergency numbers and aid organisations" / in the background a picture of the Berlin homeless aid organisation handing out food

Cold Aid 2023/24 | How you can support Homeless People now

With the beginning of the cold season, the Kältehilfe (Cold Aid) starts again this year all over Germany. This means that emergency shelters for homeless people will open again and Kältehilfe buses will be on the streets in many cities.

The associations and organisations behind the shelters, the Kältehilfe buses and the care of homeless people depend on the support of committed people like you for their work. Therefore, in this article we show you how you can help with time, money and attention to bring homeless people safely through the cold season.


  1. What Cold Aid is all about
  2. How you can help: Cold aid hotlines & donations in your city
  3. Projects you can support directly on site

What Cold Aid is all about

Between the beginning of October/November and the end of March, organisations throughout Germany offer cold aid (Kältehilfe) for homeless people. In addition to emergency shelters, this also includes so-called warmth or cold buses (Wärmebuse or Kältebusse). They travel the streets to regularly provide people with food, warm drinks, sleeping bags, and more. Many cold aid initiatives have set up regular tours or meeting points for this purpose, giving people a fixed point of contact where they can not only warm up, but also talk about their everyday worries and problems. The cold aid is organised differently in each region. Here we show you how you can support them in your area.

Use Cold Aid hotlines

If you are outside in the city during the coming weeks, keep your eyes open for people who are suffering from the cold and may need help. Even if it takes some effort at first, talk to them in a friendly way and ask if they need anything. If the person concerned wants to accept help, you can directly contact Kältehilfe buses in some cities. They will note the location and arrange for initial supply. For serious cases, you should call 112.

Donate for the Cold Aid

In order for the Kältehilfe buses to regularly provide homeless people on their tours with warm drinks, food and e.g. clothes, they depend on donations. You can see exactly which donations in kind or money are needed on the websites of the respective organisation.

Cold Aid services in your city

& Donation Info
BerlinBerliner Kältehilfe

(New Kältehilfe app shows free sleeping places, night cafés & food offers)
Phone: 030 343 971 40
(daily 19:00 – 23:00)
Donate for Berliner Kältehilfe
Kältebus from BerlinPhone: 0178 523 5838
(daily 20:30 – 02:00)
Wärmebus from DRKPhone: 030 600 300 1010
(daily 18:00 – 24:00) 
Donate for Wärmebus of DRK
Kältebus from Berliner StadtmissionPhone: 030 690 333 690
(daily 20:00 – 2:00)
Donate for Kältebus, Ambulance
& Emegency Shelter of Berliner Stadtmission
Bergisch-Gladbach / Refrath / BensbergKältebus from “Die Platte e.V.”Phone: 02202 272 6689
Donate for Die Platte e.V.
DüsseldorfGutenachtbus from vision:teilen & fiftyfiftyPhone: 01578 350 5152
(daily Tour 22:00 – 0:30)
Donate for Gutenachtbus
DortmundHerzensbus (Malteser)Phone Infos: 0231 982 3200
(Tour 3x per week)
EssenDRK EssenPhone: 0201 22 22 22
(24h Hotline)
Donate for DRK Essen
Frankfurt am MainKältebus from FrankfurtPhone: 069 431 414
(daily 21:30 – 05:00)
Frankfurt OderDRK KältebusPhone: 0335 192 22
(24h Hotline)
FreiburgDRK KältebusPhone: 0761 885 089 88
(daily 20:00-24:00)
HalleBus VierjahreszeitenPhone: 0176 705 544 07
(3x per week)
HamburgKältebus from CaFée mit HerzPhone: 0151 656 833 68
(daily 19:00 – 24:00)
Donate for Kältebus CaFée mit Herz
Mitternachtsbus from DiakoniePhone: 040 401 782 15
(Tours every night)
Donate for Mitternachtsbus
HannoverKältebus from JohanniterPhone: 0800 084 8488
(daily 14:00 – 20:00)
Donate for Kältebus of Johanniter
Wärmebus from MalteserPhone Infos: 0511 959 8636
(Tours every Thursday & weekend)
Donate for Malteser Wärmebus
KarlsruheKältebus from DRKPhone: 07251 922 999
Donate for DRK Kältebus
KielKältebus from WohnungslosePhone: 0170 140 9210
(Tours every Friday 18:00-22:00)
Donate for Malteser Wärmebus
KölnKältebus from FDKSPhone: 0176 240 713 12
(daily 18:00 – 23:00)
Donate for Kältebus of FDKS
LeipzigHilfebus from LeipzigPhone: 01523 366 1087
(daily 18:00 – 23:00)
MainzKältebus from Rheinhessen Hilft e.V.Phone: 0163 686 7137
MannheimKältebus from MannheimPhone: 0621 293 3425
MünchenKältebus München e.V.Phone Infos: 089 200 045 930 / Mail: 
Donate for Kältebus München
MünsterMalteser WärmebusPhone Infos: 0151 122 648 36
(Tours every weekend)
StuttgartDRK KältebusPhone: 0711 219 547 76
(Tours 22-02)
Donate for Malteser Wärmebus
WiesbadenKältebus from Rheinhessen Hilft e.V.Phone: 0163 686 7137

If your city is not listed, you can find more (mobile) Kältehilfe initiatives with a simple search engine query for “Kältehilfe (or Kältebus) + city” (e.g. via

Projects you can support directly on-site

Get involved in projects to support homeless people

Many emergency shelters for homeless people are looking for additional support from volunteers for the cold season, who help out with serving meals and looking after residents, among other things. If you would like to become active directly on site, you can find a small selection of projects to support homeless people here.

Support is needed in the
projects linked below
BerlinBerliner ObdachlosenhilfePrepare food and clothes and distribute them on relief tours
Kältehilfe der JohanniterReception, food distribution, care, clothing store in Kreuzberg
Berliner StadtmissionWelcome, clothing store, food distribution in Friedrichshain
Stiftung Union HilfswerkWelcoming guests, preparing and serving meals, distributing beds and sleeping bags
youngcaritas BerlinFood distribution in the warming centre in Wilmersdorf – many other projects, e.g. in Kreuzberg, Mitte, Wedding
Emergency Shelter StrassenfegerSupport for late or night shifts
DortmundGast-Haus Ökumenische Wohnungslosen-Initiative e.V.Preparation and distribution of food and drinks
Düsseldorfyoungcaritas Düsseldorf
Warm durch die Nacht
Preparation and serving of food and drinks at Worringer Platz
Frankfurt am MainFood Distribution of FranziskustreffFood distribution, talks and counselling
HamburgDuschbus from GoBanyoCoordinate guests and showers on site, handing out hygiene articles and clothing
Sonnenschein Café des clubkinder e.V.Making sandwiches and serving sandwiches, coffee and cake in the afternoon
Mobile Clothing Store of the DRKTake over journeys for the clothing store bus, homeless bus or blood donation, more on request
ColognePrivate Initiative KaffeekutscheDistributing food and hot drinks in Cologne Mülheim (every Mon + Tue)
Office for Civic Involvement of the AWO CologneFood preparation for homeless people in the inner city of Cologne
Mannheimyoungcaritas Mannheim
‘Warm durch die Nacht’
Bringing coffee, tea, biscuits and conversation to people on the street
Stuttgartyoungcaritas Stuttgart
Warm durch die Nacht’
Bringing coffee, tea, biscuits and conversation to people on the street

You can also find more projects to support homeless people at

Use Gifting Fences (Gabenzäune)

Beyond the initiatives presented, you still have the opportunity, to equip gifting fences with food, blankets or clothes, from which needy people can help themselves individually. You should make sure that the food is (still) good and that the clothes are suitable for the cold season. On the site you will find an overview of the locations of gift fences throughout Germany.

Donate via

In addition to the Kältehilfe buses, there are a large number of projects throughout Germany that care for homeless people and that you can support with a donation. These include projects to provide clothing and meals, streetwork stations for street kids or a centre for homeless women. You can find a good overview of the different projects and funding needs on the donation platform

Donate clothing via local institutions

In many German cities there are a number of institutions/shops with fixed locations where you can make donations in kind for homeless people. You can find local organisations in your area by simply searching for “Homeless clothing donations + your city”.

Please note that the needs of each organisation are different. In any case, it is worth taking a quick look at the website or calling them to find out what things are actually needed.

Thank you for your commitment in the cold aid!

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