Asylum Seeker Project
Bridge’s financial support gives people, including children, rental support when needed to prevent homelessness. Living allowances are provided to meet essentials of food, clothing and pharmaceuticals. The allowances also enable transport and phone access, which in turn enables contact with the Department of Home Affairs (DoHA), legal representatives and caseworkers as well as the ability to seek employment.
Bridge clients are on valid visas and receive no other financial support. All are waiting for those applications to be processed – this can take many months, if not years. Before receiving our funding, their financial situation will have been reviewed to show insufficient funds to survive. Using the services of reputable migration lawyers, all will have applied for protection from Australia or be in the process of doing so. Bridge clients all have one thing in common. They have fled from countries where their government supported persecution – for political, religious, ethnic, gender, sexual-orientation, and other reasons. Many have experienced torture and have been imprisoned or threatened with imprisonment for non-criminal reasons.
The grant has supported 16 asylum seekers with living allowances and rent support for approximately five weeks across November and December 2020. Because of the danger to members of their families in their countries of origin, on-going fears of danger for themselves and also because of attitudes in our community towards refugees, anonymity remains essential to asylum seekers. However, Bridge can advise that those supported reside in Canterbury-Bankstown,Cumberland, Fairfield and Liverpool Local Government Areas and have come from the following countries: Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Iran, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Sudan. People supported included families with children as well as single women and men.