Help grow a homestay program for people seeking asylum

By Refugees Welcome Australia


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Because of these recent policy changes, we have a large numer of people seeking asylum living in our communities at immediate risk of homelessness. More than 12.000 people who have been refused to apply for asylum are now facing the possibility to be cut off support systems and lose their right to work. After waiting more than four years to apply, people are now given as little as 30 days to lodge your application, regardless of whether they have access to a lawyer.

The alternative

Refugees Welcome is an international movement that offers a long-term homestay housing alternative to refugees and people seeking asylum who are seeking a safe and welcoming home. We believe that a house-sharing model is a powerful alternative to detention and solitary housing. Not only does it provide people in need with a safe shelter, it also benefits hosts and our country as a whole. We strongly advocate for tolerance, acceptance and unity, and believe in a people-to-people connection to successful integration and social cohesion.

Across 14 countries, Refugees Welcome has placed more than 1,000 refugees and people seeking asylum in homestays. Together with our partner organisation in Sydney, there are currently an approximate 500 hosts registered on our databases. We know there are many, many more people around the country who know about the difficulties faced by people seeking asylum in Australia, and want to help. We truly believe in the good will of Australian people, and we want to give our society the opportunity to release that kindheartedness.

The team

We are 100 % self-funded and rely entirely on the time and skills of our volunteers. Our crew of volunteers is growing each week. In the last months, we grew from 5 to more than 35 volunteers, and we now have teams established in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. Our team consists of social entrepeneurs, IT consultants, laywers, social workers, migration agents, researchers, software and digital marketeers, graduates and students, with each person a strong dedication to fill the gap across the refugee and asylum seeker sector.

Besides our own crew, we work very closely with other organisations, community groups and businesses. We strongly believe in sharing resources, and help other organisations in the sector with the increasing demand for volunteers and material support.

Our need

We have taken a long time to prepare, and we find it very important for the program to run well. We have a designated team of social workers who take a lot of time to prepare hosts and ensure a good match is made. We are now processing host applications in Brisbane, and plan to do the same in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth later in the year. Our first training is scheduled this month, with already 30 people registered.

We have raised $2,450 in a previous Crowdfunding campaign, and are very pleased to have been able to cover our registration, insurance and website costs. But we need more funds so we can have someone in charge who can coordinate the process of screening, matching, training and placement. This part of the program is extremely important and time-consuming, and we can no longer rely on volunteers to fill this role.

Your help

By helping us you are helping the 24.500 people living in our communities who have been in limbo for their claims to be processed for years on end. You are helping those who are struggling to find affordable housing, and those who are left with no resources and income, and are now facing homelessness.

We believe in a house-sharing model. And we know, so many people believe the same.

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Team Members

Susan De Groot Heupner