Bruno Kreisky Foundation

for Human Rights

Obdachlosenasyl/Homeless Shelter „Die Gruft“ (Austria)

"Die Gruft" or "the vault" is a homeless shelter that was founded in 1986 in Vienna to help homeless persons. Father Gabriel of the Barnabiten Church was the driving force behind its founding. In the beginning it was only open two hours every day, and it steadily increased its hours until 1994 when it became open around the clock every day of the week. In 1994 the organization began actively looking for people living on the streets to offer help. Since 2003 a psychiatrist has joined them in their discussions with the homeless people. "Die Gruft" provides a heated space for the homeless in the winter when it is bitterly cold outside. In addition to a place to sleep there are also clean clothes, food, and showers. They employ a large team of specialists to care for everyone, including social workers as well as psychiatrists and civil servants. Volunteers are also a large part of the homeless shelter’s work force. Their hope is to rehabilitate people who have ended up on the street. In December 2010, the film “Echte Wiener II” featured footage taken from the homeless shelter. “Die Gruft” hopes that this brings awareness to their cause. (