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Shelter for refugee and transmigrant women to close at end of month

17:44 12/02/2020

BXL Refugees has put out an emergency call for a building to house Sister’s House, a refugee shelter for women. The current building, donated by the municipality of Ixelles, must be vacated by the end of the month.

BXL Refugees, the citizen’s group that also matches homeless asylum-seekers with homeowners in the capital, founded Sister’s House in 2018 to give single women a safe place to spend the night, get advice and receive medical and psychological care.

The organisation has been trying to find a permanent location, as the premises in Ixelles was only available until 29 February of this year. Between 70 and 100 women spend the night in the house at any given time.

“We are becoming very concerned because there has been little co-operation from the Brussels municipalities or the region to find an available space,” said BXL Refugees in a statement.

Sister’s House has so far served more than 450 refugees and transmigrants. “These women are often isolated and wary of others because they have been confronted with gender-related abuse and violence on their journeys,” said BXL Refugees. “They are often suffering from health problems and severe anxiety.”

Photo courtesy BXL Refugees

Written by Lisa Bradshaw