UnitingCare Hotham Mission has a long standing relationship with Lentara Uniting Care’s Asylum Seeker Project (ASP) in Melbourne. The ASP supports people seeking asylum who are living lawfully in the community while their claims for protection are being processed. Clients who receive this support often have no income, no rights to work, do not have access to Medicare, and receive no access to government assistance, including access to stable housing. They are often suffering considerable mental health issues as a result of torture and trauma and from the impacts of their migration journeys.
Housing is a critical issue for people seeking asylum as they are not eligible for mainstream homelessness services, crisis accommodation or public housing programs, and they often do not have the income needed to access private rental. As a result, many people seeking asylum fall outside the homelessness support system in Australia and they have to rely on the support of non-government organizations and charities for assistance, of which the ASP is one such service.
UnitingCare Hotham Mission partners with Lentara UnitingCare to provide limited rent-free Uniting Church housing located in North Melbourne for up to 10 Asylum Seekers who have been assessed by ASP case managers as requiring urgent housing assistance.