In the Samusocial reception centre on the Boulevard Poincaré, 100 emergency beds have been opened, where refugees who can’t find shelter at the existing Fedasil centre can stay for six weeks.
The emergency beds only open in times of crisis, such as during the winter, to avoid refugees having to spend their nights on the streets. Samusocial has agreed with Fedasil to open the 100 beds until mid-September, Bruzz writes.
The emergency shelters now mainly house single men. “These are people who have already registered an asylum application in Petit Chateau [Brussels main refugee reception centre],” said spokeswoman Marie-Anne Robberecht of Samusocial.
“They are entitled to reception in our country, but are temporarily waiting for more permanent reception here in a Fedasil centre,” she added.
Asylum centres in Belgium are currently overcrowded, meaning that Fedasil cannot fulfil its legal obligation to accommodate all asylum seekers in a timely manner. The government service has already been convicted more than 1,200 times.
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On Monday, Fedasil opened 750 extra places in the army barracks of Berlaar in the province of Antwerp, but asylum seekers are still sleeping on the street next to Petit Chateau.
“We will consider whether this emergency shelter should be expanded in September, but we hope that Fedasil will find another solution,” Robberecht said.