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Welcome The Asylum Seeker Parish Support
The ongoing confusion about the future of the Australia-US refugee resettlement arrangement requires urgent leadership from Australia’s politicians. 
The BASP December newsletter indicates that the needs for housing continue as ever. People here on their own struggle getting access to housing—even when they have income. Private rentals are too expensive for one person. There are limited networks for sharing housing and asylum seekers are unsuccessful , usually, in trying to get a room via websites like Flatmate and Gumtree. Any ideas to tackle this problem would be welcome.
People seeking asylum continue to need our support. Many thousands in the community and in detention are living in Australia in fear, poverty and uncertainty.  Many more are detained on Nauru and Manus Island, with others “free”, with nowhere to go. Self harm, suicide and death are common. Recent humanitarian family arrivals from Syria need our support. The forum will increase awareness of current issues and what parishes can do to help.
In a full-page ad in The Australian, GetUp and 71 other organisations have called on Prime Minister Turnbull and Bill Shorten to evacuate the camps on Manus Island and Nauruand bring them here. 
In recent weeks and months we have seen further evidence of the horrifying treatment of people seeking asylum in Australia’s cruel, off-shore detention system on Manus Island and Nauru.
Faysal Ishak Ahmed, 27, from Sudan, collapsed at the Manus Island detention  centre on 22 December 2016, after complaining for many months of heart pain and other serious ailments. 

“Fr Peter Carrucan here describes a Christmas visit to the Melbourne Detention Centre.  Fr Peter provides pastoral care to refugees in the Archdiocese of Melbourne. He will be a guest speaker at our next Strengthening Parish Support for Asylum Seekers Forum on Saturday 18 March 2017 at 383 Albert Street East Melbourne.

The Horn of Africa Communities Network Inc (HACN) is a small community organisation with offices in Footscray and Hoppers Crossing, helping recently arrived refugee families and individuals, providing case management, advocacy, referrals to social support and community services, life skills education, social engagement for men, women and elders, and more. 
Sts Peter and Paul Catholic Melkite parish is helping Syrian refugees to settle in Hampton Park. Parish Priest, Fr Elias Matta says that the families are very happy to be in their new country, arranging for their children to be enrolled at school and are facing up to all the challenges of settling in.  
Read the Welcome the Asylum Seeker Parish Support Program December Newsletter here 

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