Since 2016, SolidarityNow implements innovative accommodation programs for refugees and asylums seekers. The aim of the programs is to ameliorate the everyday life of those people, to help them become more autonomous and to be appropriately prepared to claim their rights and take charge as well as responsibility for their new lives. The Accommodation program is implemented all over Greece in Attika, Thessaloniki, in Ioannina and in the island of Tilos.
Support of beneficiaries and local communities
Through the Accommodation program, SolidarityNow has, since April 2016, supported more than 6.500 refugees and asylum seekers, many of them belonging to weaker social groups such as single parents, people with mental disorders or physical disabilities, victims and victims of torture. More than 2.500 of those people were children, and 83% of them have registered to school for the year 2017 – 2018.
Along with accommodation, a series of free services are provided to the beneficiaries, such as information, interpretation, psychological support, referral to medical services, entertaining and educational activities. These services aim to help our beneficiaries make their living better and smoothly integrate to the Greek society.
In addition, with the program for Accommodation, SolidarityNow supports the local economy, mainly with the renting of empty apartments in the urban areas. More than 600 apartments have been rented from the organization through the Accommodation program.
Specialized needs, specialized structures
The Accommodation & Services Programs deal with different types of structures which correspond to different needs, such as:
- Housing in independent apartments, buildings and hostels for most beneficiaries of the programs.
- Guesthouse for Vulnerable Cases (eg people with severe medical problems, people with disabilities, victims of torture, victims of domestic violence, etc.)
- Special accommodation and support program called “Safe Refugee” for the LGBTI refugees
- Guesthouse for Young Adults Refugees and Asylum seekers in Athens. In cooperation with the Society for the Care of Minors, SolidarityNow hosts a total of 25 young men, aged 18-22
- Tilos – Pilot Program for Social Coexistence, which has been an example of a locally-funded international project, through which local communities have welcomed refugees by supporting them and making sure they have a smooth integration in the society.
The Hosting and Accommodation Programs continue in 2017, are supported by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency and funded by the European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid (ECHO).