What are homeless people thinking about

What do you believe in, Harald?

There are 600-800 homeless people in Bremen. Harald is one of them. He's lived on the streets for almost 30 years. As part of the ARD theme week “What do you believe in?”, We accompanied Harald on the streets of Bremen for three days. He took us into his world and answered many questions.


day 1


“Begging is my life and my hobby. I do around € 20 a day. Most people are more generous around the holidays, so it can be more. A lot of people sometimes stop for hours just to talk to me. Men give less than women, but more. "

Harald lives for the most part from his regular customers. He is most happy about a small donation, coffee or packaged food. He is often offered food that has already been started, he accepts it out of politeness, but does not eat it: "People mean well, but I am not a walking trash can."



“My greatest wish is to travel around Europe in a motorhome. From September I will get a pension in addition to my begging salary, so maybe I can fulfill this dream one day. "

“In Bremen, more should be done for the homeless. Socially critical issues should be addressed more and social housing should be promoted more. There are not enough accommodations. Politicians have to work on that, but of course there is not enough money ... "



day 2




Harald is one of the few homeless people who do not get Hartz IV. For almost 30 years he has been living on his begging salary. He does not want to apply for Hartz IV because he does not want to become dependent. And because he doesn't like being told what to do, he avoids the office.

Even if many people walk past Harald every day without paying any attention to him, he is an important contact person for many homeless people.



Day 3


As a homeless person, it is often difficult for Harald to find a toilet that he can use for free. Mostly he has to pay for his hygiene: € 4 a day to go to the toilet, € 2.50 for a daily shower and then a ticket to get to the places. These are extremely high expenses for Harald.

There are 600-800 homeless people in Bremen. Harald offers a "different kind of city tour". He shows people from the “normal world”, places where homeless people stay, sleep, beg and die.

“I want to live a long time” is written on Petra Adler's photo. She prayed and lived in this exact place for many years and then lay dying here for four weeks and was found dead one morning.

Poor hygiene, insufficient medication and infections: life on the street is stressful for many homeless people: the body is damaged and can no longer build itself up properly and many homeless people find it difficult to rest. They are often threatened and there are too few “bright” places where they can find safety.

When it gets dark and there are fewer tourists, the Neptune Fountain is used for laundry and cleaning. But only as long as the police don't notice.

Homeless people are not always allowed to stay in their places - they are often sent away, for example because they disrupt tourism.



The next "city tour of a different kind" will be in September. Just ask Harald. Every lunchtime he sits at the Sparkasse on Hillmannplatz.



The whole story with Harald: is available on our Instagram channel


This topic in the program: Bremen NEXT, June 15, 2017, 9:20 am

Article dated June 15, 2017