Peter Khalil, the Federal Member for Wills, visited the BaptCare Sanctuary in Brunswick on Tuesday to formally present a $12,000 federal grant to extend their ‘Connecting Up’ Program which provides computers and wireless internet to newly arrived refugee and asylum seekers to assist with their re-settlement.
BaptCare Sanctuary provides supported transitional accommodation for people seeking asylum who have experienced homelessness while awaiting the outcome of their application for a Protection visa or Humanitarian claim.
Residents at BaptCare Sanctuary have been forced to flee their homeland under the threat of persecution because of their race, religion, political beliefs, membership of a particular social group or ethnicity. Many are survivors of torture; all are survivors of trauma and emotional distress.
28 people are currently housed at the Brunswick facility, which first opened in 2008.
BaptCare was successful in their application for funding through the Stronger Communities Programme with the support of local federal member Mr Khalil.
“The work that BaptCare Sanctuary do with such limited resources is very significant. As the local Federal MP, I am extremely happy to support their efforts to expand their service.” said Mr Khalil.
“Although it’s something that many people take for granted, providing access to a computer and the internet is a very practical way that we can support refugees and newly arrived migrants.”
“I will continue to advocate for BaptCare and the refugee sector more broadly as part of a future Shorten Labor Government.”
The Stronger Communities Programme funds small projects to improve local community participation and contribute to vibrant and viable communities. Projects are identified by Mr Khalil and are assessed against the programme eligibility criteria.