The number of overseas immigrants living in Scotland has doubled in the past decade, and with that, comes the level of desperation rising as people’s need for asylum grows in light of the war and terror in many middle eastern countries.
It is believed that over 60% of refugees first asylum application are rejected and, when refused, they are given 28 days before they are not allowed benefits, accommodation or the right to work.
Many live deprived lives on the streets, or are forced into committing criminal acts in order to survive.
This is where organisations such as The Glasgow Night Shelter for Destitute Asylum Seekers steps in.
Providing a safety net for those who have found themselves homeless in a strange country, they have provided shelter and accommodation for up to 16,500 refugees since opening in 2011.
They have charted the rise of migrants since the beginning of the war and bombing in Syria and other countries in the Middle East, and stress the need for more shelters and more awareness.
Established as a short term service for the winter months, the shelter is now open 365 days a year, with beds for 15 men.
A rotation of 3-4 volunteers every night cook an evening meal and breakfast with the refugees.
Phil Collins, it’s co-ordinator, talks of the ‘profound change’ in the asylum seekers once they have access to the shelter, ‘people come in broken, beaten and scared, and after a week they become six inches taller’.
He explains that it gives them a ‘safe place’, free from the fear of being ‘beaten or mugged whilst living on the streets’.
An estimated 34,196 people have risked their lives reaching Europe by sea so far in 2019. Furthermore, EU interior ministers have failed to find compromise on Mediterranean refugee rescue, putting thousands of vulnerable people at risk. Refugees need to know that there are places like the Glasgow Night Shelter willing and able to help them,