11 June, 2013

Refugee Week



THE SALVATION ARMY ASYLUM SEEKER SUPPORT SERVICES – A SERVICE PROVIDERS PERSPECTIVE

The Salvation Army Asylum Seeker Support Services opens three days a week to help asylum seekers from across Victoria who are struggling to survive.  We help with basics such as food, supermarket vouchers, clothing and other donated goods.  

Our centre relies totally on donations to help approximately 100 people per month.  Unfortunately, there are many we cannot help.  In April we turned away 313 and in May we couldn’t see 403 needy asylum seekers.
It’s difficult saying “I’m sorry, but we are booked out and cannot see you…” to people who we know are living on less than a Centrelink benefit.  Some have no income whatsoever and we know many are sleeping on the floor and others are hungry.

Requests for blankets, pillows and other basics outstrip what we are able to provide.

The Salvation Army across Australia will continue to help asylum seekers with basics like food, clothing, furniture and household goods.  The Salvation Army Asylum Seeker Support Services in Brunswick, Melbourne is also exploring other ways in which we can support asylum seekers.

In August we will commence to train volunteers in ways they can personally support asylum seekers who are living in our community.  Our “Connecting to Community Project” will match compassionate community mentors with an asylum seeker who simply need a friend who will help them to adjust to life in Australia.   

Volunteers will supported by a qualified Project Officer.  Supporting an asylum seeker will be a life enriching and at times challenging journey for many Connecting to Community volunteers.  Are you ready for a new challenge and live in Melbourne’s Western, Northern or Inner City suburbs?  Feel free to get in touch with us to find out more!

For more information on our work with asylum seekers please contact us on:-
Centre phone: (03) 9384 8333 on Monday, Wednesday & Friday – 9 am to 3 pm.

E-mail: karen.elkington@aus.salvationarmy.org , colin.elkington@aus.salvationarmy.org , jeremiah.temple@aus.salvationarmy.org

Major Karen Elkington (Major)
Manager – The Salvation Army Asylum Seeker Support Services