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Trebe Café

Advising young homeless women in Düsseldorf

Since 2015, with a great level of enthusiasm and passion, female lawyers from Freshfields’ Düsseldorf office have been providing ongoing first legal orientation to young, homeless women in Düsseldorf on a variety of issues. The Trebe Café, an institution led by the charity organisation Diakonie Düsseldorf, offers young woman with a difficult social and financial background a variety of help: at the Trebe Café, the women can find shelter during the day, a place to shower and eat, clean clothes and hygiene products, as well as support from social workers.  

Our Freshfields team offers open consultation hours in the Trebe Café where lawyers sit together with the young women and – where appropriate – the social workers to answer questions on a variety of issues from practical dealings with authorities    to legal questions.  

The informal setting of Trebe Café provides a comfortable environment where these women feel at ease, valuing the opportunity to speak openly with our lawyers. 

Seemingly small cases but with great impact – A true success story 

Although the financial implications may be minimal in most of the cases, they questions raised have a profound impact on the women involved. In the past eight years, we have advised more than 60 individuals on more than 100 different matters. Just to name some of the example:

  • We have fought off an unjustified claim by a public utility company; 
  • We have successfully defended a woman against a recovery claim raised by the family benefits office; 
  • We have successfully requested a landlord to have significant defects in a flat be removed; 
  • We have achieved, with the authorities, that a residence requirement will be abolished;
  • We have successfully reduced a large number of claims by settlement and instalment agreement; 
  • We have successfully defended a young woman against an unfounded claim for damages; 
  • We have successfully defended a young woman against the termination of her employment contract; 
  • We have achieved, for a young woman, the termination of her internet provider contract without her having to pay for another year of extension. 

These examples clearly demonstrate our team's ability to earn the trust of the young women and empower them to make their lives a little easier.

A valuable and valued relationship 

Based on the in-depth and trustful relationship we have built with the Trebe Café, Freshfields lawyers are often contacted directly by the women in need. Both the young women and the social workers express immense gratitude for our work and eagerly anticipate participating in our upcoming consultation hours. 

Trebe Café: “We would like to thank our colleagues at Freshfields for their tireless efforts. A large number of women have already been helped to mitigate the negative effects of their situation. Through legal consultation, the young women have been able to stand up for their rights and improve their situation. For the women, the possibility of accessing legal advice means a great deal of security in their otherwise unpredictable everyday lives. Since it is often impossible for most of the young women to access legal advice, the Freshfields’ work eases many situations to which they would otherwise feel helpless.”