German city paying alcoholics in beer

1st October, 2014 by Neal Baker

A German city has launched a controversial programme that will see its alcoholic homeless sweep the streets in return for beer and cigarettes.


The homeless of Essen will be paid three beers, cigarettes and a hot meal for a day’s work (Photo: Wiki)

Social workers in the western industrial city of Essen will oversee the ‘Pick Up’ project, which will focus on the run down central square near the town’s railway station – a place commonly occupied by dozens of homeless people and addicts.

The project – copied from similar initiatives in Holland – is aimed at both tidying up the city and helping the homeless to get back into the kind of routine necessary for reintegration into normal society.

It is also hoped that it will discourage addicts from drinking dangerous amounts of harder alcohol, as for their work they will be paid with three bottles of beer, a hot meal and cigarettes for smokers, according to Die Welt newspaper.

They will also be given €1.20 an hour, or £0.93, from the city treasury for their efforts.

However, the project has drawn criticism from some aid groups who see giving alcoholics an incentive of beer as dehumanising and akin to blackmail.

However, dismissing these concerns, coordinator Oliver Balgar told The Bild newspaper: “The project participants are people who need to have a daily structure just to get back on their feet.”

Those taking part will be mostly long-term unemployed and heavily addicted people for whom therapies have failed, who have health problems and are “socially isolated and stigmatised”, the group leading the project said in a statement.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletters

Job vacancies

Administrative Assistant

Swig Wines Ltd
Chiswick, London, UK

HR Manager

Amathus Drinks PLC
London, UK

Senior Sales Manager

Haynes Hanson & Clark
Gloucestershire, GB

Customer Services Administrator

Speciality Drinks Ltd
London, UK

National Business Development Manager

Speciality Drinks Group
London, UK

Inventory Analyst

Bibendum PLB
London, UK

Events Executive - Atom Supplies

ATOM Supplies Limited
London, UK

Off-Trade Sales Account Executive

Domaine Direct
Nationwide, working from a combination of home & London office.

Sales Executive/Brand Ambassador

Ballindalloch, Speyside, UK

Client Manager

Noble Rot
Wandsworth, London, GB

Spirits Investment Director

London, UK

Junior Brand Manager

Enotria Winecellars
Park Royal, London, UK

Content & Digital Assistant

London, UK

Sales Manager

Cellar Trends
London, UK

Editorial Assistant

Wine List Confidential
London, UK

Champagne Masters 2017

Deadline : 7th July 2017

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

Deadline : 10th July 2017

The Global Malbec Masters 2017

Deadline : 10th July 2017

The Global Syrah Masters 2017

Deadline : 18th July 2017

Click to view more

The Drinks Business Awards 2017

Now in its 15th year, the db awards have become the most authoritative, internationally respected badge of achievement in the alcoholic drinks industry.

The Asian Cabernet Sauvignon Masters 2017

the drinks business Hong Kong announces its first year of The Asian Cabernet Sauvignon Masters.

Rioja Masters 2016

Now in its fifth year, the competition will recognise and reward the finest Riojas on the world stage.

Fortified Masters 2016

Now in its third year, The Fortified Masters will reward the best fortified wines on offer.

Click to view more