People seeking asylum are part of the Australian community and many are struggling to meet their everyday needs such as nutrition, accommodation and ability to provide for their families.

The Asylum Seekers Centre (ASC), based in Newtown NSW, is a place of welcome and provides practical and personal support for people living in the community who are seeking asylum.

The ASC provides integrated services to more than 4000 people including health, accommodation, legal advice, financial relief, employment assistance, food, education and material aid.

According to the UNHCR, the process of applying for asylum can take many years and during this period of waiting people are at risk of homelessness, economic and social isolation. Continued Federal Government cuts to income support for people seeking asylum has reduced the options of places to turn.

ASC’s emergency relief programme responds quickly and provides individuals and families, free of charge, a safe place to live while they find their feet in a new city.

Frances Rush, Asylum Seekers Centre CEO, says an increasing number of people being seen by the ASC are presenting with psychological distress directly linked to the prolonged waiting period.

“People are living in fear of being forced to return to their country of origin while continuing to wait for a decision on their applications,” says Ms Rush.

HOST International recently provided ASC with a Little Things grant, which has assisted the organisation to connect people with local services and to navigate their way in a new community.

“The Asylum Seekers Centre is very grateful for the assistance that HOST provided to enable us to do this work,” says Ms Rush.

Project Humanity and the community
Project Humanity and the community

HOST recently also merged with Project Humanity in July 2019, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to improving the opportunities, education, life skills, self-esteem and employment prospects of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers within Australia.

Project Humanity and HOST International are hosting a fundraising dinner on 1st October at Meze Me restaurant. The proceeds from the dinner will go towards providing emergency fund, assistance with medical expenses, support towards employment expenses and assistance towards housing and reducing homelessness.

“The proceeds would also go towards paying for school expenses for children between ages 10 to 17,” explained Nasiba Akram, Community Engagement Lead of Project Humanity.

“It’s important to familiarise them culturally with the environment that they’re in so they can live peacefully and happily in the community.”

If you are interested in donating to the fundraiser or purchasing tickets to the dinner, please do so directly via Humanitix.