New home found for Sister’s House homeless migrant shelter
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New home found for Sister’s House homeless migrant shelter

© Sister's House

The platform for support for homeless migrant woman has found a new home for its Sister’s House shelter.

The platform BXLRefugees last month issued a call for replacement premises, as the lease was to run out on 29 February.
“Our concern is growing, as despite the close cooperation with the Brussels municipalities and the Brussels region, no solution has emerged in our search for vacant buildings,” the group said then.

Sister’s House opened in November 2018, and takes in 30 women a night. Another 38 are placed by the platform with volunteers. Since opening, the house in Ixelles has offered 450 women a total of 12,200 overnight stays.

These woman are often isolated and suspicious, and on their trip have been subject to abuse and gender-related violence,” a spokesperson for BXLRefugees said. “As a result they now have to deal with psycho-medical and socio-medical problems.”

Now, however, the search for an alternative has been successful. The new house in Etterbeek is not far from the old one, and can be used from 30 March. However the group is now calling on the Brussels regional government to keep the promise it made in its governing accords, to provide a shelter for female transmigrants travelling alone or accompanied by a minor.

Male transmigrants, meanwhile, have been given shelter by another branch of the refugee group in a former office building in Haren. That arrangement is also coming to an end, and the whole outfit, including a kitchen and accommodation for 350 men, will move to the former BeTV building on Chaussée de Louvain in Schaerbeek.

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times