Are homeless people considered self-employed
homelessness: Self-employed, broke, homeless
Vienna. Everyone remembers the first night on the street. The first time when you really have nowhere to go because your own apartment is already gone, because you don't have a family to take care of you. And because you have strained your friends' hospitality for too long.
Daniel's first night on the street was warm. He didn't really want to sleep in Vienna's Esterhazy Park. He just wanted to have a beer with a good friend that he ran out of money and then go to an emergency shelter. "It was so fast, so incredibly fast," he says. "I never thought that would ever happen to me. But what does that mean? Never say never."
Daniel is one of around 15,000 people in Austria who, according to the Ministry of Social Affairs, are homeless. The number of unreported cases is higher. So you do not have a permanent place of residence and live on the street or have to temporarily stay with friends or in charitable institutions. According to Caritas, the number of homeless people rose by 41 percent between 2008 and 2013 - that is, in the period after the economic crisis. In recent years, however, the numbers have stagnated. Caritas operates 41 facilities for the homeless throughout Austria with 1793 beds, which are full in winter.
Some of the people who end up on the streets, at least temporarily, were previously self-employed. Exactly how many there are is not known. "There are many on the street who were self-employed and are now homeless," says Daniel. He is one of them.
Born in Switzerland, he ran a restaurant in Vienna with his girlfriend at the time. And actually, business was pretty good. In 2012 he had a serious accident and was unable to work for several months. "No company survives if the boss is not there," he says. Daniel and his girlfriend separated, he had problems with his business partner, and the mountain of bills grew bigger and bigger. "At some point I ran out of energy." He couldn't pay his social security contributions or the tax regulations. The executor came, his bar was locked, he could no longer afford his apartment and ended up on the street for the first time in 2013.
Similar to Norbert: "I fell into a deep hole from which you can hardly get out," he says. He also ran a restaurant. After a violent argument with his business partner, he left the company. At some point the money was out, his apartment was gone and he ended up on the street. Today both Daniel and Norbert live in an assisted living facility.
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