SolidarityNow implements in Greece innovative hosting and accommodation programs for refugees and asylum seekers.
Accommodation in Hotels
SolidarityNow provided refugees and asylum seekers who were eligible for relocation with a wide range of services (information and interpretation services, psychosocial and legal support, recreational and educational activities, case management) with the aim to facilitate their temporary stay in Greece. By the end of 2016, 2,729 people have benefited from this program in Athens, Evia (Rovies), Peloponnese (Kranidi) and Epirus, while being accommodated in UNHCR-leased hotels.
Accommodation in shelters and independent buildings
Accommodation and a wide range of free services (information and interpretation services, psychosocial and legal support, recreational and educational activities, case management) was provided to asylum seekers and refugees in Thessaloniki and Sindos through two independent blocks of apartments and a shelter for vulnerable cases. By the end of 2016, more than 500 individuals have been benefited through these programs.
“Safe Refugee” – specialized program for LGBTI refugees and asylum seekers
To meet the increased needs and the multiple risks faced by LGBTI refugees and asylum seekers, SolidarityNow implemented a specialized housing and support program, known as “Safe Refugee”, under which LGBTI refugees are accommodated in independent apartments in Athens and Thessaloniki. Participants in the program received psychosocial support, legal aid, participated in educational and recreational activities and were part of a wider network aiming to improve their living conditions and support them while staying in Greece.
Through the Youth Shelter we aim to support the integration process of refugee and asylum seeking young men (18-22 years old), previously residing in shelters for unaccompanied minors (UAMs), during the transition period of their lives while reaching adulthood.
The Youth Shelter in downtown Athens belongs to the NGO Society for the Care of Minors and Youth and was constructed in 2015-2016 with the support of SolidarityNow/Open Society Foundations to serve the purpose of accommodating young male asylum seekers and refugees, who turn 18 and thus can no longer continue staying at UAMs’ shelters, while at the same time are not ready to live independently. SolidarityNow in partnership with Society for the Care of Minors and Youth and with the support of the UNHCR and funding by the European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid (ECHO) is managing the Shelter since 1/1/2018 and provides the following services to the young residents: a) safe accommodation; b) psychosocial support and case management; c) educational activities; d) employability counselling; e) medical facilitation and escorting when necessary; f) legal aid, and e) food provision (cooked in the shelter’s common kitchen).
Tilos – Community & Integration pilot project
The Social Care and Development Society of Tilos Municipality is currently running an accommodation shelter for refugees and asylum seekers. The shelter, which was set up in 2015 by SolidarityNow, continued to stand out as a unique example of a small local community project that welcomed refugees and migrants and catered for their smooth integration to 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).