Social Advice

Various areas in life can be affected by the consequences and impact of a crime. In this section you will find information on important topics and links to further sources of information.

Social advice centres provide counselling services for different types of problems and issues, for example, problems with the authorities, questions on welfare benefits (Unemployment Benefit II, housing benefit), clarifying and enforcing your rights and claims, or if you are in a difficult financial situation.

The counselling sessions are tailored to meet your needs as well as your social environment/system. Solutions for your questions and problems will be found by working together. Social advice is (actually) not legal advice, although the issues often overlap. Most of the counselling is done by social workers. Regardless of your ideology and religion, counselling is free of charge, strictly confidential and if preferred, anonymous.

Find a social advice centre for yourself on this list.

Sometimes people get into debt as a result of a criminal offence and need advice and support to get out of it. Debt counselling centres can help you through your struggle and find solutions to get your finances back on track.

A debt counsellor will do an assessment of your financial situation, and together you will work out a plan on how to pay and lessen your debts.

The Federal States Commission for Consultation on Debt and Insolvency Berlin (Landesarbeitsgemeinschaft Schuldner- und Insolvenzberatung Berlin e.V. [LAG SIB]) is an association of state-approved, non-profit debt and insolvency counselling centres. )

You can find Debt Counselling Centres here (only in German).

When you have experienced violence or crime, you do not have to deal with the effects and consequences alone. Many people find it helpful to talk with others about what happened, and self-help/support groups offer the chance to do this.

A self-help/support group consists of several people who have been through the same or similar experience you have been through. They are there to provide mutual support and also to share important information such as where to find suitable counselling centres for your needs, other possibilities to find support and sharing positive experiences on coping with the effects of crime incidents, etc.

Self-help/support groups are not led by professionals such as psychologists or social workers. Members lead and organise the meetings themselves.

There are also self-help/support groups for relatives and friends of people affected by violence or crime.

You can find self-help/support groups for specific topics here (only in German).

There are many different ways to get help in Berlin if you are homeless or at risk of losing your home.

  • The Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft Wohnungslosenhilfe (BAG Wohnungslosenhilfe e.V.; Federal Association for Persons Without Fixed Abode) offers an online search-portal that can help you find counselling centres for those who are at risk of losing their home, emergency overnight centres and day care centres.
  • On the website of the Berliner Wohnhilfen (Berlin housing counselling services, only in German), you can quickly find the specific and proper help you need.
  • The corresponding App allows you to search for the right contact points quickly and while you’re on the go.
  • The Zentrale Beratungsstelle für Menschen in Wohnungsnot (Central Counselling Centre for People in Need of Housing, only in German) offers support and advice to find a way out of this situation. They can also offer you the possibility to set up a postal address or PO box/post office box.
  • Counselling for homeless people in English, Polish and Bulgarian.
  • Support from Berlin’s district offices (Berliner Bezirksämter, only in German) to help search for accommodation, advice and help with the new tenancy, (i.e. getting a loan for the rental deposit) as well as debt counselling.
  • You will find a current list of emergency overnight shelters and accommodation (Berliner Kältehilfe, only in German) as well as local food banks here. (only in German). You can find the App to help homeless people (only in German) here.
  • The Berliner Obdachlosenhilfe (Berlin Homeless Assistance) provides people in need and the homeless with warm meals, hot tea or coffee, warm clothing and sleeping bags.
  • KUB Kontakt- und Beratungsstelle (Contact and Counselling Centre, only in German) is an offer for young people who mainly live in the streets (13-20 years old). They provide counselling, medical assistance/care, veterinary services and emergency accommodation in “Sleep In” (from 10PM – 10AM).

There are a number of agencies that provide support and advice to people from other countries (immigrants, migrants, refugees and asylum seekers). Counselling topics are:


  • Right of Residence and Right to Asylum
  • Counselling for education and training
  • Counselling for psychological issues/problems
  • Counselling for social issues/problems

Counselling in these centres is free of charge and if requested anonymous.

If you have experienced right wing, racist or anti-Semitic violence, you will find support here.

When you have lost someone to crime, suddenly a lot of things have to be organised and get done on time. Funeral homes will assist you from the start. They can give you advice, support and guidance. Furthermore, getting (emotional) support from people you trust or from a counselling centre can provide some relief. You can find funeral homes here. (only in German)

You can find funeral homes here. (only in German)

The following checklists can give you an overview of what is important and necessary for a funeral.

Your apartment has become a crime scene and needs to be cleaned? Here you will find professional crime scene cleaning: