A city for all
We help ourselves

A film by Susanne Böhm and Uwe Kassai
On behalf of SWR
ARD theme week "City. Land. Change.":

What happens when people who are dependent on social aid start to help themselves? Harry and Iva have been organizing a food distribution on the street since the first Lockdown in Stuttgart, and André has unceremoniously turned an entire office building in Cologne into a visionary housing project for the homeless. How do professional helpers react to this new self-confidence? And how does the commitment change the actors themselves, who until then had been passive recipients of welfare?

The film sheds light on the departure of residents of the city who are homeless or former drug addicts participating in a substitution programme. Social work can alleviate the symptoms of poverty, but a better life also requires those affected themselves. Taking the initiative, taking care of oneself, getting involved creates self-confidence and makes one independent. This makes it possible to claim space in the city. The stories from Cologne and Stuttgart show the power that can come from self-empowerment and they provide new answers to two old questions: Who owns the city? And: How do we want to live together?

Editorial: Katrin Grünewald
Camera: Tarja Kühne, Julia Baumann
Sound: Christoph Schnuell, Maja Meiners, Tilman Platen, Luka Gantner
Film edit:
 Christian Becker

11. November 2021, at 9:00 pm, SWR

Other broadcasts:
12. November 2021, 10:15 am, SWR
25. November 2021, 9:45 pm, Tagesschau24

30-minute version "Doing instead of waiting - people from the street help themselves":
22. February 2022, 11:35 pm, ARD
01. March 2022, 04:15 am, ARD
01. March 2022, 10:00 pm, Tagesschau24
05. March 2022, 07:15 am, Tagesschau24

Available in stream:
From 10 November on ARD (45 Minuten)
From 22. February on ARD media library (30 Minuten).