“Solidarity Homes” by SolidarityNow: SolidarityNow and Help Refugees partner in pioneering housing project for recognised refugee and local families threatened with street homelessness


One step closer to social integration and acceptance

Athens, September 20th, 2017

In June 2017, SolidarityNow, in partnership with Help Refugees launched a pilot housing program for vulnerable population groups titled “Solidarity Homes”.

The pilot offers accommodation to refugee families and actively promotes their integration to Greek society. It also supports vulnerable local families facing the consequences of the economic crisis. Under this program six (6) families, with a maximum of 30 people, will be accommodated in the six (6) solidarity homes.

Cultural understanding and mutual respect

The program’s objective is to build relationships between the refugee population and the local community, to support the early steps of refugees’ integration and empowerment in society, and improve cultural understanding by promoting intercultural dialogue and mutual respect.

Provision of housing for families threatened with street homelessness

Refugee families are a population group that still needs exceptional ongoing support. Upon receiving refugee status, families lose access to accommodation and support programs, all that in a socio-economic climate that makes it harder for them to integrate in the host country.

The program also supports a local family with underage children, living in Greece for many years. Suffering from a reduction in income due to the crisis, they are unable to meet their daily needs and are threatened with street homelessness.

Solidarity Homes” provides:

– Accommodation, by covering the cost of rent and utility bills.

– Provide a monthly allowance to meet the families’ basic needs through a prepaid card program.

– Provision of interpreting advice and services and interconnection with the competent public services, hospitals.

– Provision of advice and interconnection with the labour market.

– Support for the integration of children in the Greek educational system and adults in adult education programs.

– Educational, psychosocial and recreational activities, aiming at the smooth integration of the beneficiaries in society (learning Greek, creative activities for children, etc.).

29 residents at 6 “Solidarity Homes”

Today, the 29-people hosted in the total of six (6) “Solidarity Homes” (15 children and 14 adults) indicate the successful initiation of the program, reaching the utmost number of beneficiaries.

This specific program, which began in June 2017, will last one year (June 2018), and might be extended according to the population’s needs.

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SolidarityNow was founded in Greece in 2013 with the initiative of Open Society Foundations, with its main goal to help those populations that are hurt most from the economic and humanitarian crises. SolidarityNow works with over 70 organizations and supports civil society organizations and public bodies that work in Greece to implement programs. It operates two Solidarity Centers in Athens and Thessaloniki, where vulnerable population groups can go to receive free medical, legal, and other services. Strategic partners of the organization include: UNHCR, UNICEF, EEA GRANTS, Embassy of Norway in Greece, etc. Currently, 15 million euros have been granted to projects addressing the economic and humanitarian crises in Greece.

Help Refugees, started in the summer of 2015 in response to the worsening situation for refugees in Europe, by a group of friends who raised money to support refugees in Calais, France. Today, the organization acts where governmental and other non-governmental bodies are unable to, working to fill the huge and terrifying gaps in services for those displaced by war in Europe and beyond. Our aim is that those we assist can say that their lives have been improved by permitting us to assist them, by bringing them dignity, hope, respect and humanity.