Seeking asylum

Published

March 28, 2018

Share on email
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

People seeking asylum are some of the most vulnerable in our community.
While they wait for the outcome of their protection claims, some people have no work rights, no income or healthcare and no access to safe housing.

Uniting welcomes and supports people who have lost everything. Our Asylum Seeker Program provides aid, care, education and training, social activities and practical support to people while they endure the process of claiming protection.

“When somebody lacks purpose it has a huge impact; it impacts both their mental and physical health,” says Amanda, a Uniting asylum seeker case worker.

“Even though we are powerless to give visas or change policies, we are able to value people. We get to say, ‘your life is important and your safety is important’.”

The program includes the Welcome Centre in Brunswick, an essential safe space for people who have been through harrowing ordeals. They can use the computers, attend an excursion or English class, ask for advice or just socialise and build friendships. The visitors regularly cook and share meals, learning about a range of cultures and cuisines from each other.

The program also runs a specialised intensive case support service where those most in need can access safe housing, Myki cards, living allowances, food parcels and material aid.

Uniting Church congregations are an essential part of our service, providing free or low-cost housing, service locations and material aid.

The Asylum Seeker Program is not government funded and relies on the ongoing generosity of supporters.

 

“I was talking to one lady and she said, ‘I can’t believe people reach into their own pockets and they support us’.

Another woman when talking about her donated housing said that she doesn’t have to be afraid anymore and she doesn’t have to sleep on the street.”
— Amanda, Case Worker

Related News

In June we opened a crisis accommodation facility that provides a safe space for older women experiencing or at risk of homelessness. …

When Jobs Victoria Advocates Barbara Mangles and Sharon D’Cruz began working with Uniting Vic.Tas in Shepparton, they could never have imagined just …

Uniting Vic.Tas is urging the Federal Government to withdraw its proposed Religious Discrimination Bill fearing it will cause unnecessary distress and hardship. …

Mary’s story

Mary* is a mother of 2 young children who recently left an abusive relationship. Mary’s partner was violent towards her and their …

Sue’s story

Experiencing family violence is traumatic for children and young people. It can have long-term effects on their health and wellbeing. Sue* works …

Uniting Vic.Tas is taking a stance during this year’s 16 Days of Activism campaign, aimed at ending gender-based violence. The 16 Days …