Vulnerable Refugees: transition to autonomy

Caritas International Belgium Vulnerable Refugees: transition to autonomy

Pauline Willot

Pauline Willot



Translation to autonomy of registered refugees from the public targeted vulnerable


Brussels, Liège and Leuven


Beginning March 2016


160 people (about 50 families) will be able to benefit from transitional housing and support towards autonomy at the end of their asylum procedure. The project targets asylum seekers who have obtained a residence permit and must leave the reception facilities but whose transition to autonomy is problematic due to their vulnerability (disability, major medical problem, psychosocial problem, Illiteracy, etc.).


Facilitate the transition to autonomy and the beginning of social/work/family life in Belgium for refugees from groups targeted as vulnerable and have obtained residency permits.

Two months to stay

Refugees who obtain asylum after a positive review of their application have only two months to leave their lodging received upon, find accommodation, and undertake the administrative procedures that give access to social rights.

Often, they face many barriers, such as, for example, difficulties in accessing private housing due to discrimination as well as the language barrier and the lack of knowledge of the steps to be taken or the functioning of the institutions, etc. This transition is all the more difficult for so-called “vulnerable” refugees (people with disabilities, an important medical problem, a psychosocial problem, illiteracy, etc.) because of the subsequent additional problems to overcome.

This pilot project is being carried out with the support of Fedasil as part of its transition program for end-of-stay residents. It is a continuation of the work of the Integration Unit, whose expertise developed during 7 years of projects for the integration of vulnerable refugees. The identification of beneficiaries is based on defined criteria of vulnerability (medical, psychological or social problems).

In concrete terms

This project aims to maximize the chances of a successful transition to autonomy by proposing:

· Accommodation in individual dwellings to enable self-managed accommodation, budget and daily living. Accommodation is available in three major cities: Brussels, Antwerp and Liège. The accommodation period is transitional and cannot exceed 6 months.

· Adapted social support to meet specific needs, capacity building, knowledge and social capital, building a professional or associative network around the person, etc.

· Support for the search of a definite home on the private market and the assurance of social rights.

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