Now that the WTCIII facilities meant to welcome newly arrived refugees to Belgium are full, asylum seekers are looking for alternative shelter from winter temperatures setting in, whilst they await their registration at the Immigration Office. 108 asylum seekers once again slept in Saint-Roch church (Brussels centre) on Thursday night.
Over 2,000 asylum seekers are waiting for an appointment at the Immigration office. But the WTCIII building which was meant to shelter them has been full for the past week. Therefore, the Red Cross, various organisations, and the Civic Platform in support of refugees are looking for alternative solutions.
Saint-Roch church offers beds to people awaiting an appointment letter at the Immigration Office since September. The premises house 20-25 people on average, but recently numbers sometimes reached 80, even 100. The church opens its doors at 8.00pm and hands out coffee, tea and bread through the night until 10.00am when they must have the church completely cleared. The Civic Platform is in charge of bed allocation at the church, which does not generally shelter women and children, who tend to be housed by the Red Cross at the WTCIII building.
Another room is available at the Jacques Brel metro station. The Red Cross issued a call for help to other church buildings. The Béguinage church, a long-standing resource for the Afghan cause, is currently considering the plea made by the Red Cross.