Mohammad* arrived in Australia in 2008 and applied for protection in 2009. During the primary stages of his refugee determination process Mohammad experienced high levels of depression, anxiety, homelessness and suicidal ideation. His application for protection was rejected and as a result Mohammad lost his Status Resolution Support Service (SRSS) income support & work rights, plunging him into destitution.
After successfully appealing the negative outcome at the Federal Circuit Court, Mohammad was again returned to the primary stages of the refugee determination process, set to repeat the arduous and stressful process again.
When Mohammad received this news he was reinstated with a bridging visa and his caseworker at the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) referred him back to an SRSS provider to again start receiving income and casework support.
Since living in Australia Mohammad met his wife and they have had 2 children with a third on the way. His wife is not a permanent resident either.
Mohammad’s wife was determined to be from a wealthy family simply because they had assisted to pay for her visa to Australia. Despite receiving no income or financial support from her family, this determination caused Mohammad to be deemed ineligible for SRSS support, and again he lost his income and support services.
Today Mohammad has no work rights and he and his young family are again facing homelessness. His wife is unable to work due to her pregnancy and has restricted work rights as a condition of her visa.
Rental support isn’t quite enough
With little support available to him, Mohammad is now in significant debt as he has been unable to pay for any living expenses including the cost of utilities, phone bills and hospital bills from the pending birth of his third child. Mohammad must now try to find new accommodation, and while he relies on the ASRC rent assistance program, he also needs to source funds for his bond, moving costs and utilities all while managing his significant mental health issues and supporting his wife and young family.
Finding hope at the ASRC
The ASRC have provided ongoing casework support to Mohammad and his family, linking him in with local material aid services, advocating for fee waivers for some much needed child care respite as well as referring Mohammad to community legal services to address his accumulating debts.
Family healthcare and mental health support
To help ensure the safety and health of his wife and unborn child his caseworker has been advocating for access to crucial maternal child health services, as well as also providing continuity of care and emotional support as Mohammad and his family struggle to meet their basic needs.
Mohammad sees a counsellor at ASRC weekly to assist him manage the ongoing and cumulative stress and trauma he is experiencing whilst undergoing the refugee determination process.
Mohammad and his family are completely reliant on ASRC Foodbank to meet all his family’s food and grocery needs. ASRC material aid ensures that the family are provided with much needed baby items including nappies and wipes as well as heaters, linen and other household items.
The ASRC’s humanitarian services
This is just one of thousands of stories, and behind the story is a real family, with real children and a very, very real struggle. The Government is continuing to cut lifesaving support services to thousands vulnerable people seeking asylum. Many have no work rights and have no way to pay for rent, utilities and food for themselves and their children.
The ASRC continues to be there for people like Mohammad when the Government isn’t. When you support the ASRC you help us provide temporary safe housing and ongoing humanitarian support to families and individuals in desperate need.
Your gift can help keep vulnerable people off the streets:
$15 can provide a night of safe housing
$105 can provide a week of safe housing
$210 can provide two weeks of safe housing
$420 can provide a month of safe housing
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