As we approach Christmas
I want to warmly thank everyone who has supported the work of Canberra Refugee Support this year. Throughout the year through your donations and “good neighbour” support of our volunteers we have been able to provide support for around 40 refugee and asylum seeker families. That is an amazing effort by CRS members and the wider Canberra community. Thanks again.
CRS is looking at the coming year with both hope and apprehension. Along with refugees and asylum seekers we are waiting impatiently for the Federal government to announce how and when it is going to implement its election commitment to provide a permanent status for refugees on Temporary Protection Visas and Safe Haven Enterprise Visas. People who have already been stuck on temporary visas for nine to ten years are wondering how long it will be before the government delivers on its commitment.
CRS is also waiting anxiously on the Government to deliver on its commitment to restore basic financial support for people seeking asylum. Delivering on this will reduce the financial stress and the risk of homelessness that many of the families we are supporting are currently undergoing. It will also substantially reduce the financial pressure on CRS. Since 2017 we have been raising substantial funds to help families with rent, pay utility bills and provide funds for basic living expenses. The requests to CRS vary from month to month but recently have been within the range of $6-$12,000 per month.
Without a clear timeline for government action CRS is faced with a continuing need to assist asylum seekers, to the extent that we can, to meet rent, utility bills and living expenses. We are desperately concerned to keep asylum seekers in accommodation. If they are to become homeless the tasking of providing “good neighbour” support will become incredibly difficult.
As we head into the Christmas period any additional financial support that you can provide would be really welcome in enabling us to assist families to keep a roof over their head during the coming months.