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Charité COVID-19 project for and with homeless people: participatory development of inclusive digital health communication

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Posters vaccination against COVID-19 (German, Polish, Russian, Romanian, Bulgarian, Arabic, Farsi, English, French)

The Charité COVID-19 project for and with homeless people provides posters on the topic of vaccination. The posters are intended to encourage homeless people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and to seek advice from staff in trusted settings. The phrase "you can get vaccinated" is meant to address the basic right that people can get vaccinated even if they have no permanent residence, no papers and no health insurance.

We offer posters with different subjects of people with lived experience on the street. There are two language versions, so that a total of 9 languages are covered.

1st language version: German, Polish, English, Farsi, Russian

2nd language version: German, Romanian, Bulgarian, Arabic, French.

In addition you can find two posters in the language versions that thematize the aspect of consumption ("you can get vaccinated even if you consume,...") in an urban scene and with the theme of hands. To ensure that the posters are easy to read, we recommend a printout in DIN A3 in color. We are also pleased to send a set of posters by mail on request.

The posters were created in cooperation with the recipient group and various social institutions. Produced by: Andrés Escobar

Theme 1: 1st language version

Theme 2: 2nd language version

Theme 3: 1st language version

Theme 4: 2nd language version

Theme 5: 2nd language version

Theme 6: consume, 1st language version

Theme 7: consume, 2nd language version

Educational videos about Corona (English, German, Polish, Romanian and Russian)

What are the symptoms of Corona? How do you get infected? What can you do if you have symptoms?

There is minimal information available that focuses on the realities of life for homeless people in the Corona pandemic. This video was created in collaboration with people who have personal experiences. We want you to get through the pandemic well, even if you don't have a permanent place to stay. We're standing together. We're keeping Corona off the streets. Charité COVID-19 project for and with homeless people.

The script was developed in cooperation with the Charité Berlin, the Robert Koch Institute and the addressee group. We would like to thank the Berliner Stadtmission for their support and permission to shoot some scenes on their location using the cold bus.

Produced by: Andrés Escobar

Information around Corona | For and by homeless people

Get tested! | The Coronatest | For homeless people

Informacja o Korona Wirusie. | Dla osób bezdomnych i z osobami bezdomnymi

Zrób test! Zrób test na obecność Korona Wirusa. | Dla osób bezdomnych i z osobami bezdomnymi

Informații despre Corona | Pentru și împreună cu oameni fără adăpost  

Fă-ți testul!: Testul Corona | Pentru și împreună cu oameni fără adăpost

Информация о коронавирусе. Для бездомных и с бездомными

Сдай тест!: экспресс-тест на коронавирус. Для бездомных и с бездомными


Many homeless people are vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Living on the streets complicates compliance with AHA rules. Even in emergency shelters, spacing and hygiene rules cannot be adequately observed due to tight housing conditions. As a consequence, there is an increased risk of infection and outbreaks. In addition, due to an increased number of pre-existing conditions associated with homelessness, an increased risk of severe COVID-19 disease development can be assumed. The Charité COVID-19 project for and with homeless people aims to assist emergency shelters during cold weather relief in managing the risk of outbreaks, particularly through the use of rapid antigen testing. The project is part of the nationwide University Medicine Network, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

A pilot study on universal testing in an emergency shelter for the homeless has already been conducted in summer 2020.

Citizens inform themselves about the current pandemic situation, regulations and protective measures mainly through digital media. Homeless people, on the contrary, have less access to digital media. The so-called "digital gap" shows that digitalization is accompanied by technical and socio-economic barriers for many people without a shelter. The structural exclusion of homeless people from society also includes the situation that they have so far hardly been addressed directly via digital services.


Grune J, Savelsberg D, Kobus M, Lindner AK, Herrmann WJ, Schuster A. Corrigendum: Determinants of COVID-19 vaccine acceptance and access among people experiencing homelessness in Germany: a qualitative interview study. Front Public Health. 2023 Jul 21;11:1245524.

Hörig M, Klaes SM, Krasovski-Nikiforovs S, van Loon W, Murajda L, Rodriguez RCO, Schade C, Specht A, Equihua Martinez G, Zimmermann R, Mockenhaupt FP, Seybold J, Lindner AK, Sarma N. A COVID-19 isolation facility for people experiencing homelessness in Berlin, Germany: a retrospective patient record study. Front Public Health. 2023 Jun 6;11:1147558.

Grune J, Savelsberg D, Kobus M, Lindner AK, Herrmann WJ, Schuster A. Determinants of COVID-19 vaccine acceptance and access among people experiencing homelessness in Germany: A qualitative interview study. Front Public Health. 2023 Mar 24;11:1148029.

Specht A, Sarma N, Linzbach T, Hellmund T, Hörig M, Wintel M, Equihua Martinez G, Seybold J, Lindner AK. Participatory development and implementation of inclusive digital health communication on COVID-19 with homeless people. Front Public Health. 2022 Nov 10;10:1042677.

Stellungnahme Netzwerk Universitätsmedizin B-FAST: Teststrategien auf SARS-CoV-2. Ein Anwendungsbeispiel in Notunterkünften für obdachlose Menschen.

Lindner AK, Sarma N, Rust LM, Hellmund T, Krasovski-Nikiforovs S, Wintel M, Klaes SM, Hoerig M, Monert S, Schwarzer R, Edelmann A, Equihua Martinez G, Mockenhaupt FP, Kurth T, Seybold J. Monitoring for COVID-19 by universal testing in a homeless shelter in Germany: a prospective feasibility cohort study. BMC Infectious Diseases 2021;21(1):1241.

Specht A, Sarma N, Hellmund T, Lindner A (2020). Charité COVID-19 Projekt für und mit Obdachlosen in Berlin - Unterstützung der Antigen-Schnelltestung während der Kältehilfe und digitale Wissensvermittlung. Zeitschrift „wohnungslos“. Verlag BAG Wohnungslosenhilfe e.V. Berlin.

COVID-19 im Kontext Wohnungslosigkeit. RKI Empfehlungen für Gesundheitsämter und Anbieter der Wohnungslosen- und Obdachlosenhilfe (Stand: 9.7.2021). Diese Empfehlungen wurden gemeinsam mit der Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft Wohnungslosenhilfe (BAG W), Ärzte der Welt e.V. (ÄdW), dem Charité COVID-19-Projekt für und mit obdachlosen Menschen sowie dem Gesundheitsamt Frankfurt am Main erstellt.

Kippe. Das Leipziger Straßenmagazin, Heft 05/2021. Gelebte Erfahrung im Video – Aufklärung über COVID-19 für obdachlose Menschen.

drObs. Die Dresdner Straßenzeitung, Heft 05/2021. Berliner Wissenschaftler entwickeln gemeinsam mit Obdachlosen einen leichteren Zugang zu Corona-Information für Menschen ohne Zuhause.


09.04.2021: BAG W Online Konferenz „Das Überleben sichern“
Workshop:  COVID-19-Projekt der Charité Berlin
Referent:innen: Navina Sarma, Andreas Lindner, Theresa Hellmund und Anabell Specht
11.06.2021: Der Paritätische: Aktionskongress gegen Armut
Workshop: Armut und Gesundheit  – Wohnungsnotfallhilfe gemeinsam mit Wissenschaft und Forschung für das Recht auf Gesundheit
Referent:innen: Mateusz, Misch, Sabine Bösing, Anabell Specht, Navina Sarma
18.06.2021: 15. Kongress für Infektionskrankheiten und Tropenmedizin (KIT-Kongress)
Vortrag: Digital COVID-19 health information for and with homeless people
Referentin: Anabell Specht
23.06.2021: ECDC Webinar: Sharing good practices for increasing COVID-19 vaccination uptake for socially vulnerable populations in the EU/EEA
Vortrag: The importance of targeted health information for and with people experiencing
homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic
Referentin: Navina Sarma
24.09.2021: FEANTSA 15th European Research Conference
Vortrag: Developing health information for and with homeless people during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond
Referentin: Tabea Linzbach

18.02.2022: Charité-Versorgungsforschungskongress
Vortrag: Durch partizipative Entwicklung von Gesundheitsinformationen struktureller Marginalisierung entgegenwirken? Vorstellung eines COVID-19 Projekts mit obdachlosen Menschen an der Schnittstelle Community, Praxis und Wissenschaft
Referentin: Anabell Specht

geplant Nov. 2022: 15th European Public Health Conference, Berlin

Poster: Participatory development of inclusive health communication on COVID-19 with homeless people

Referentin: Anabel Specht


Interdisciplinary team (medicine, public health, social services, media communication, people with lived experiences) in close cooperation with the Robert Koch Institute and the emergency shelters. Collaboration with the Research Network of Homelessness and Health at the Charité