How does the reception and integration of Ukrainian refugees in the Hasberg region succeed?

Already several million people have fled Ukraine since the start of the Russian aggressive war, mostly to neighboring countries. On the other hand, others have come a long way: between the end of February and the beginning of July, about 850 thousand people from Ukraine were registered in the German Central Register of Foreigners.

The provinces have so far played a crucial role in receiving refugees. They did not have much time to prepare for the task at hand. But how have the authorities in the Hasberg district operated in the past three months? What went well, where is the sand in the gears? How many Ukrainian war refugees live in Hasberg County and where do they find shelter now? Overview.

How many Ukrainian war refugees live in the region?

According to the statistics of the Migration Office (as of June 21), 676 Ukrainian citizens are currently registered in the Hasberg region with the right of residence. But: “The numbers are very volatile,” explains Dieter Sauer, head of the Social Welfare Office. His authority is responsible for all refugees arriving in the Hasberg region. Some have since moved away. On the other hand, others now bring their families or relatives. The stats could look different again tomorrow.

What do emergency shelters mean for an area cash register?

In order to be able to shelter people from war zones, the district, cities and municipalities have set up emergency shelters for the past three months. The basis was the disaster applied in Bavaria. 479 places were created gradually, decentralized. “We decided to tackle this in as many ways as possible,” Sawyer says. The goal: the absence of large mass housing. Only in Eberne did the Bavarian Red Cross (BRK) set up an emergency unit of 110 additional places, “but this has not been completely exhausted,” the agency chief explains.

“I can’t tell over my head what the costs are.”

Dieter Sauer, Head of the Social Welfare Office of the Habsburg District

It’s unclear whether emergency accommodations will cause a hole in the area’s coffers. Given the high costs so far, Dieter Sauer “cannot answer the matter.” You just get an overview. However, he expects financial outlays to be kept within reasonable limits, as there are no commercial providers operating emergency shelters, but primarily non-profit municipal entities. Because of the acute situation, it was not initially possible to “conclude direct detailed contracts with cities and municipalities”. But Sawyer is sure that the only “rough understanding” with municipalities about costs so far is “no problem”.

Where is it currently not running smoothly?

A problem arose elsewhere, however. Because with the “change of status” decided by the federal government, according to which Ukrainian war refugees are no longer considered asylum seekers since June 1, job centers are now taking care of them instead of welfare offices. But the authorities clearly do not have enough anti-forgery documents of a certain type, the so-called “pseudo-certificate”. At least that’s what Werner Maher, managing director of the Hasberg Employment Center, recently suggested at a meeting of the District Committee on Labor and Social Affairs. However, refugees who are not fully registered need this certificate to proceed to the regular Basic Security. That’s why there is a delay, Maher says.

“Three integration courses with 65 places are planned over the next few months; we anticipate that 400 places will be needed.”

Werner Maher, Managing Director of the Hasberg Employment Center

Only 169 basic security applications had been submitted in the Hasberg area by June 10. “We’ve taken 92 inquiries,” explains the Career Center manager. The new status will not only give Ukrainian refugees more money, but also access to the labor market. But here the following problem arises. “Three integration courses are planned with 65 places in the next few months; we expect 400 places to be needed,” Maher says. For many employers, a language certificate is essential. Since 2020, however, Free State has continued to reduce the range of corresponding courses. “But we are in dialogue with the responsible authorities that something is going on here,” says Werner Maher.

What’s next for Ukrainian refugees?

The situation is different when it comes to finding apartments for Ukrainian war refugees, as a lot is happening in the area, explains Dieter Sauer, head of social services. A large number of people are no longer dependent on emergency shelters. Up to 90 percent of Ukrainians have already managed to find housing in private apartments. For him, this was a success largely due to the willingness of the population to help. Two employees are currently taking care of private housing offers that arrive in the area via its opposite portal.

How long the Ukrainians will remain is unclear. “I just learned to go back to Kyiv,” Dieter Sauer said. He is sure that many people want to return to their home country in the long run. However, his authority remains on guard. “You have to take into account the subsequent flight moves.” Indeed, many people who fled from Odessa now want to come to the Hasberg region.

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