The Casa Bloc is set to receive 90 asylum seekers
Refuge City. The Sant Andreu district will provide support for the entities running the facility in order to help integrate the refugees into the neighbourhood.
In the next few weeks, the Casa Bloc, in the Sant Andreu district, will house asylum seekers. The building has a capacity for 90 people and will become a new temporary centre as part of the state programme. The Sant Andreu District Office will work to help integrate people housed there into everyday neighbourhood life.
The facility is run by the social entities Associació Comissió Catòlica Espanyola de Migració (ACCEM), Comisión Española de Ayuda al Refugiado (CEAR) and the Catalan Red Cross, which between them offer social and medical attention, maintenance and labour and linguistic orientation for asylum seekers. The majority of people who will be housed at the 24 homes in the Casa Bloc come from the Ukraine, but there are also people from Iraq, Afghanistan and Eritrea. They are expected to start moving in during the second week of April and will stay for six months, with the option of a further three months thereafter.
Barcelona City Council will provide support for the managing entities and a social worker will be assigned to assist with integrating the new residents into neighbourhood life. “We want people at the Casa Bloc to be received with dignity and to be able to be part of everyday life in the city”, explained the Deputy Mayor for Social Rights and Councillor for Sant Andreu, Laia Ortiz. Through the social worker, the District Office will be in touch with local entities which would like to help out, giving the refugees a foothold in the city.
More users and resources for SAIER
Barcelona’s Care Service for Immigrants, Emigrants and Refugees (SAIER) has been offering support since 1989. The service assisted 1,374 asylum seekers in 2015, a figure which has multiplied in the last four years. The upward trend continues, as in the first two months of this year the service has already assisted 498 people.
SAIER helps refugees from all over Catalonia. They arrive spontaneously rather than via state resettlement schemes for refugees. In order to handle the increase in users, the municipal government has increased the 2016 budget for SAIER, upping it from 1.1 million euros to 1.7 million.
Two agreements have also been signed with ACCEM and CEAR worth a total of 331,500 euros, which will be used to double accommodation available to the two entities in Barcelona.