Seek the welfare of the city

Constancy in change  

“Realms and the world itself are changing. Only God, who pulls them together, remains the same“ (Hermann Claudius).

An organisation that is able to celebrate 130 years of existence has seen and survived numerous social changes.

The Protestant Association for City Mission in Karlsruhe was formed in 1915 from the “Protestant Association” and the “Protestant City Mission“. It roots back to 1882, the heyday of industrialisation. Urbanisation and unchurching were a new social phenomenon. The official church was obviously unable to cope with the situation, and responsible-minded Christian individuals started to take action. A municipal missionary was assigned with a full-time position. “The challenge was to visit the poor and the sick, to help endangered or unemployed young people, to conduct divine services, and - one of the most noble tasks - to let the children come together in Sunday school“, as the commemorative publication explains on the occasion of the 100th anniversary.  

Already in 1884, the first own building in Adlerstraße, which also accommodated the YMCA, was occupied. In 1888, the service range was extended by Karlsruhe’s first mobile nursing service for men. In 1902, Frommelhaus in Kreuzstraße opened, and so did Karlsruhe’s first women’s shelter, the   “Zufluchtsheim“ (sanctuary) in Marie-Alexandra-Straße, in 1912. The focus was mainly on offering practical support for women. In 1910, the Blue Cross commenced its activities to fight alcoholism. The “Grüner Hof“  (green yard) in Kriegsstraße first served as hostel for apprentices before it was converted into a residential home for elderly single men in 1932. Right after the end of World War II in 1945, former “Nassauer Hof“ in Kriegsstraße was converted to a retirement home. Its big hall served as venue for events organised by the Protestant City Mission for many years. The focus was then changed to social work with elderly people, as became clear through Wichernheim in Mühlburg and Matthias-Claudius-Heim in Bunsenstraße or also newly built Benckiser-Stift in Stephanienstraße. Later, Agnes-Karll-Haus in Rüppurr, Franz-Rohde-Haus and the former Red Cross Home were added.  

In the 1970s, the care for mentally ill people at Frommelhaus opened a new field of activities. The training of household assistants characterised the way back to the roots. For a short term, the organisation also operated a geriatric nursing school at Marie-Alexandra-Straße. Around the turn of the millennium, the Stutensee day care centre, the sheltered housing facilities in Stutensee and Stephanienstraße, and Paul-Gerhardt-Haus for multiply severely disabled young people again marked breaking new grounds. The home care nursing service’s tasks were reversed just a few years later by taking over the Protestant Welfare Centre of Karlsruhe. The Protestant City Mission of Karlsruhe has been and will remain a professional and reliable partner who repeatedly faces its challenge: “Seek the welfare of the city!“ 

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