Close to people | Stories from Bethel

Like winning the lottery

Photo collages and a calendar hang on the walls, a flat-screen TV stands on a chest of drawers and wooden chairs are scattered around the kitchen table. Laura Raths has furnished her first own flat entirely according to her personal taste. "I feel at home here," she says and smiles. Laura Raths was one of the first residents to move into the Integrative Multigenerational Quarter (IMQ) in the centre of Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler in February 2023. Bethel rents eleven flats in the building to people with cognitive impairments and acquired brain injuries.

Laura Raths' favourite thing about her home is "that I can have my peace and quiet here". She really enjoys having space and time for herself. At the same time, she is adventurous and sociable and shares activities with her neighbours. "We meet up for coffee or breakfast, we go shopping and for walks," says Laura Raths. "It's nice to be able to meet other people and chat with them."

"It's really nice for me to see how much joie de vivre Laura has here."
Roswitha Raths-Ley

If necessary, Laura Raths and the other residents receive assistance from the IMQ staff. The concept there is "Living and assistance". It is aimed at adults who require intensive support but still want to live independently in their own home. Bethel.regional offers tenants the security of round-the-clock availability and help with their lifestyle and social participation. The employees organise their work according to the tenants' personal needs and wishes.

Opened at the beginning of 2023, the IMQ is very well established in the Rhineland-Palatinate city. A neighbouring kindergarten, which was badly affected by the floods in summer 2021, has moved into the ground floor of the building with a few groups. Clubs and initiatives meet regularly in the meeting centre next door. Svenja Pleuß cites further indications of how well the IMQ has been received. "There have been no changes of tenant in the building so far, everyone is very happy," reports the regional manager of Bethel.regional. "We also have a long waiting list with names of people who would like to rent a flat in the IMQ." The plan has been a complete success, says Svenja Pleuß: "It's a great project because it really promotes the self-determination of people with disabilities."

Laura Raths' mother Roswitha Raths-Ley is just as satisfied. "The fact that Laura got a flat in the IMQ is like winning the lottery for us," she says. Her daughter lived with her until February 2023. Laura Raths was 38 years old at the time. The previous search for accommodation where she could develop greater independence with support proved difficult. After all, she wanted to continue living in her home town. It was only when the IMQ was built that an opportunity finally presented itself.

Roswitha Raths-Ley has never regretted taking this decision. On the contrary. She says: "It's great for me to see how Laura is developing, how she has grown into her new home and how much zest for life she has here."


Text: Philipp Kreutzer | Picture: Matthias Cremer

This story simply told

Laura Raths lives in the town of Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler. She lives there in a Bethel flat. It is her first flat of her own. If Laura Raths needs support, she receives it there. She is very happy in her flat. She says: "I feel at home here."

Would you like to find out more?


Living and assistance in the Integrative
Multigenerational Neighbourhood (IMQ)
Schützenstraße 127
53474 Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler

0175 4940121

To the website of the centre

Offers & services

The programme is aimed at people with intensive support needs who would like to live in their own home but still need the security of good care. The individual strengths and resources of the person are specifically promoted and new skills for organising everyday life are developed.

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