The Athens Solidarity Center (ASC) is the answer to the complex needs emerged by the economic crisis and exacerbated by the refugee crisis.
The doors of the Athens Solidarity Center opened in December 2014 and since then, it has been an example of optimal cooperation between a public body (Municipality of Athens), the local civil society and institutional bodies.
The Center follows an “open door“ policy, which means that it welcomes all people in need indiscriminately – that is, regardless of nationality, origin, sexual orientation, religious or political beliefs etc. The only criterion is their vulnerability.
More specifically, the target population groups are those who either already are or are at risk of being socially excluded, such as:
a) people with little or no income, irrespective of national or ethnic origin;
b) migrants who have not yet found their place in society;
c) minorities (such as the Roma);
d) refugees and asylum seekers;
e) young people who are out of employment or education
The Center serves hundreds of our people in need daily,
Every day, hundreds of people benefit from the services provided at the Center, and each year, services are extended to more than 2,000 people from approximately 80 different countries.
Today, the Center offers a comprehensive set of pro bono services to anyone in need, such as:
- School enrollment and family meetings for learning challenges
- Accommodation requests
- Asylum procedure requests
- Child protection cases
- Unaccompanied minors
- Issuance of administrative documents, information about social benefits
- Medical appointments
Psychological support – Counselling
- Individual counseling (trauma, anxiety, domestic violence, gender identity issues, mental health issues)
- Group counseling for integration, personal growth, and empowerment
- Legal advice
- Judicial Representation
- Support for the unemployed in their job search
- Career orientation for minors and adults
- Training on job searching and career planning skills
- Strengthening ties with the private sector
- Internet corner
- Advisory on tax issues
- Submission of tax declaration
- Enrollment for social benefits
- Debt settlements
- Issuance of unemployment cards
- Support to overcome daily integration challenges (KEP, DYPA and Tax authorities)
Support to children aged 6-17 with a migrant/refugee profile
- Educational support
- language classes in Greek and English
- workshops in STEAM, painting, and creative writing.
Creative activity space for children aged 4 -17 years old
The Center offers interpretation services in addition to Greek and English in various languages and dialects such as Ukrainian, French, Arabic, Farsi, Dari, Urdu, Pashto, Hindi, Swahili, Lingala, and Tshiluba.
*An office of the Asylum Service (state service) is hosted in the Athens Solidarity Center
which operates independently on predefined appointments.
Since August 1st, 2023, the operation of the Athens Solidarity Center is supported by the Swiss-Greek Cooperation Programme in Greece (Embassy of Switzerland in Greece) to reducing economic and social disparities in the EU and by the Ministry of Migration and Asylum.
Since August 2023 till March 2024, the Athens Solidarity Center is financed by EEA Grants, with ΣΟΛ Crowe and HumanRights360 as the fund operator.
Since July 2023 till June 2024, the Kahane Foundation supports the Employability Service of the Athens Solidarity Center.
The Athens Solidarity Center is also supported by the Municipality of Athens.
From August 2022 and till July 2023, the Athens Solidarity Center was financed by EEA Grants, with CROWE Greece and HumanRights360 as the fund operator.
From 1/7/2021 till 30/6/2023, Kahane Foundation supported the Psychosocial service of the Athens Solidarity Center.
From 1/8/2021 till 31/7/2022, the Athens Solidarity Center’s operation was supported through a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) in the framework of its global COVID-19 Relief Initiative.
From May 2019 and till July 2021, the Athens Solidarity Center was financed by EEA and Norway Grants, with CROWE Greece and HumanRights360 as the fund operator.
From May 1st 2016 till May 22nd 2019, ASC had been financed by SolidarityNow and Open Society Foundations (OSF/OSIFE).
Athens Solidarity Center was established through Open Society Foundations and EEA Grants – Norway financial support (EEAGR08.02), in cooperation with the Municipality of Athens until 30.04.2016.
From November 1st 2016 till December 31st 2017, complementary services provided by the ASC were funded by EaSI (Employment and Social Innovation) in the context of “Employment enhancement and Social services integration in Athens Municipality (ESTI@)” program.