From April 2016 to August 2021, SolidarityNow implemented innovative accommodation programs for refugees and asylums seekers.
The aim of the program was 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 was implemented all over Greece in Attika, Thessaloniki, in Ioannina and in the island of Tilos.
The program included collective housing, autonomous accommodation, and shelters for particularly vulnerable groups, to respond efficiently to the urgent needs of providing quality accommodation solutions within the urban landscape.
SolidarityNow created the Athens Social Service Center, where relevant services were provided by the program’s social workers, to promote self-reliance of the beneficiaries, community engagement but also local integration.
Since the beginning of the program, SolidarityNow provided a plethora of quality services to those in need, through qualified and experienced professionals, such as information, interpretation, psychological support, referral to medical services, entertaining and educational activities. These services aimed to help our beneficiaries make their living better and smoothly integrate to the Greek society.
In addition, through the Accommodation program, SolidarityNow supported the local economy, mainly with the renting of vacant apartments in the urban areas.
Specialized needs, specialized structures
The Accommodation & Services Programs dealt with different types of structures which corresponded to different needs, such as:
- Housing in independent apartments, buildings and hostels for most beneficiaries of the programs (program completed).
- Guesthouse for Young Adults Refugees and Asylum seekers in Athens. In cooperation with the Society for the Care of Minors, SolidarityNow hosted a total of 25 young men, aged 18-22 (program completed).
- Special accommodation and support program called “Safe Refugee” for the LGBTQI+ refugees (program completed).
- 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 (program completed).
ESTIA, the Emergency Support to Integration and Accommodation programme, was implemented by UNHCR and funded by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund of the European Union.