Words: Ellen Kenny
Everyday in October, Abolish Direct Provision will be at Connolly Station collecting winter coats for refugees.
The Abolish Direct Provision Campaign recently launched their Winter Coats Collection Campaign. Everyday from 10:00 to 22:00, members of the campaign will be stationed at Connolly Station to collect coats for refugees.
Refugees in accommodation are staying in Direct Provision centres or hotels that will likely see electricity and gas shortages due to rising cost of energy. This drive will provide warmth and comfort to many refugees who would not find it elsewhere.
Asylum seekers in Direct Provision are entitled to 38.80 euro for adults and 29.80 euro for children each week. They must be legally registered with a birth certificate and PPS number before they can receive financial assistance.
While delays in registration are expected, recently there has been a complete halt in registration for many refugees. Over the summer, Abolish Direct Provision reported that there were over 650 women of colour in one centre who had been waiting for a PPS number for “months”.
A lack of financial assistance means refugees in Direct Provision are left relying on resources provided by the centres they are staying in.
Minister for Children Roderic O’Gormon said that delays and issues in direct provision are an “inevitable” effect from the influx of Ukrainian refugees in Ireland.
According to Irish Refugee Council CEO Nick Henderson, there are about 15,000 people in different types of asylum accommodation. This is an increase of more than 40 per cent on the same time last year.
“We have real concerns around the deteriorating type of accommodation that’s provided,” Henderson told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, “Everything from Direct Provision through to those hotels, through to transit centers, through to tents, which are still being used by the State.”
There has also been an increase in refugees rejected accommodation due to a lack of space in recent months. In September, 201 refugees were denied accommodation in one week. The Irish Refugee Council also reported that 27 refugees were sleeping rough on one day.
“We have concerns around the situation of children. We’ve received reports of children sharing living space and in some cases in one location actually wider sleeping space with family members who aren’t adults,” Henderson also explained.
“This has resulted in parents trying to make makeshift shelters for their family space, including sheets.”
Click here to find out more about the Winter Coat Collection, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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