72 patients of the psychiatric department of the general hospital in Berlin Neukölln were interviewed unselectedly to the subjects of lodging and income with the help of a semistructured interview. Only 16 (22%) patients still had a job, 17 (24%) were without job and 31 (43%) were on pension. 10 patients (14%) were homeless, 12 patients (17%) lived in insufficient conditions of housing. Only 11 patients (15%) earned their own wage/salary. All together 25 patients (36%) were in some way dependent on support by social security. Half of the patients had a regular income of less than DM 1000.--a month. The everyday dealing with the problem of poverty on the ward is pointed out and discussed. Obviously this theme is not integrated enough in the therapeutic process. This subject can not only be delegated to the responsibility of the social worker.