“We were drawn together with the common goal of providing a safe haven that allows asylum seekers to live with dignity and become self-sufficient whilst waiting for their claims for protection to be assessed.”
JRS has been praised for its “capacity building, advocacy and leadership” in the official citation for the ‘Exceptional Community Partnership in a Local Government Area’ award which it won at the 2016 Zest Awards.
“This award is a testament to the JRS team and our exceptional partners whose great support has helped Arrupe Place work,” said Maeve Brown, coordinator of the JRS Shelter Project.
JRS has entered into partnerships with 7 other organisations to provide services at Arrupe Place. These include the Sisters of Mercy Parramatta, the Sisters of Charity, the Good Samaritan Sisters, the Australian Red Cross, the Refugee Advice and Casework Service (RACS), Information and Cultural Exchange (ICE), and Training for Change. Two other partners, STARTTS and Baker & McKenzie, are providing free counselling services and legal assistance in civil law cases respectively to asylum seekers.
“We were drawn together with the common goal of providing a safe haven that allows asylum seekers to live with dignity and become self-sufficient whilst waiting for their claims for protection to be assessed,” said Ms Brown.
“At Arrupe Place we are able to offer a range of services from English language and cooking classes to food provision and legal aid, as well as, most importantly, offering a sense of community.
“Arrupe Place has become a safe haven where many asylum seekers can gain access to programmes that have led to their increased participation in the local community.”
JRS’s Zest Award followed closely on its winning a Scanlon Foundation Community Grant.
“This grant will allow us to expand the services at our new space at Grose St.,” said Ms Brown.
“We will grow our education and social support programmes that help people seeking asylum build connections with the local community.”