Another emergency reception centre for asylum seekers opens in Brussels

Another emergency reception centre for asylum seekers opens in Brussels
Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration Sammy Mahdi has been opening more reception centres in Brussels in recent weeks. Credit: Belga

Another reception centre for asylum seekers is opening, this one in the Molenbeek neighbourhood of Brussels, to help relieve the strain on the system and provide a place for asylum seekers to stay as winter comes.

Single men, women, couples and families, as well as unaccompanied foreign minors, will be welcome in the temporary shelter, reports Bruzz, which is expected to accommodate about 70 people.

Those asylum seekers will later be moved to a more structural reception location once Belgium’s network for such migrants is expanded or becomes less overwhelmed.

Not a new problem

For years, volunteers with that network have been warning the government that the system couldn’t cope with the number of people seeking asylum in the country.

A closed hotel in the Evere neighbourhood has also been converted into a reception centre to provide assistance and shelter to refugees, many of whom were sleeping on the street in order to not lose their place in line to be processed.

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The new centre in Molenbeek will be managed by Samusocial – an urban social emergency service for homeless people – in cooperation with Fedasil, the Belgian institution responsible for the reception of asylum seekers.

It will be open at all hours and offer three meals a day, with a medical team on site to provide first aid. Activities will be organised for adults and children during the day.

Samusocial, which mainly deals with Brussels’ growing homeless population, has been mandated by the Fedasil agency to manage reception centres for asylum seekers in the Brussels region. This will increase reception capacity which is particularly important as many refugees are currently homeless and sleeping on the streets outside the Klein Kasteeltje ((Le Petit-Château) centre.


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