Winter accommodation and support for vulnerable refugees and migrants during their journey in Greece and elsewhere, as well as safe accommodation and social services for vulnerable refugees and migrants while applying for asylum, relocation or other possible options, is the heart of this program, funded by Caritas Suisse, Caritas Germany, Caritas Austria and the German Humanitarian Assistance.
The target group of the program are families, elderly, people with disabilities and women travelling alone arriving in Lesvos and in Athens. The program started at 15 November 2015 and it is scheduled to end at 30st June 2017.
It is important to emphasise that, after the closing of the borders and the subsequent “entrapment” of a large number of refugees in our country, the program, responding to the new needs, changed into “Safe accommodation and social services to vulnerable refugees and migrants project”, since its target group population now stays longer in the country.
Target group(s): refugees and migrants
In Phase 1 (15 November 2015 – 15 April 2016) of the implementation of the program, vulnerable refugees and migrants had access to safe accommodation in Lesvos and in Athens during winter months and received timely, appropriate and accurate information, essential to ensure a safe journey onwards for them.
For this purpose, a hotel with a capacity to host 220 people was rented in Lesvos and two hotels with total capacity of 220 people were rented in Athens. By the end of this phase (April 15, 2016), 8,250 people have found shelter and support in the hotels of our program in Lesvos and in Athens. A total of 33,288 overnight stays within the shelters has been provided to beneficiaries.
Type of product
Brief description of the product / outcome / method
he Social Services Center provides refugees and migrants assistance with referrals to legal and social services, in cooperation with both governmental and non-governmental actors, phychosocial support. Moreover, cultural activities take place in the SSC, many of which are organized together with the beneficiaries, in the context of their preparation for a long-term stay in Greece. The Social Service Center also provides a safe child-and-mother friendly space, where lessons and activities take place.
The SSC is operating under the program “Safe accommodation and social services for vulnerable refugees and migrants” and the “Emergency Response” (EA04/2016) program.
Impact on target groups / Transferability potential
Beneficiaries, refugees and migrants, were provided with the services necessary to meet their everyday needs.
All beneficiaries of the program received breakfast and one meal per day. In total, over 72,000 meals have been served. Additionally, snacks were provided through donations from time to time throughout the project. In Lesvos, an outdoor space was created with hot water and sinks for laundry.
All hotels provided soap and shampoo in the rooms. Additionally, all hygiene items were donated by volunteer groups (both in Greece and abroad) and were distributed by the Caritas team. Through these networks, the program received adequate donations in clothing, underwear, socks and shoes for all beneficiaries. Female hygiene items, baby diapers and baby cream, toothbrushes, toothpaste, razors, wet-wipes, deodorants, extra shampoo and soap are also donated.
While the project continues to provide temporary accommodation at hotels, Caritas Hellas is also in a quest for longer term housing solution for asylum seekers, since many refugees are now “entrapped” in Greece and, thus, obliged to stay longer in our country.
Promoter of the initiative
Name of organization / individual: CARITAS-HELLAS