As European leaders seek to deal with what an EU (European Union) representative called the worst refugee crisis since the Second World War, The Salvation Army is responding across the continent, providing practical, emotional and spiritual support.

   

Greece -The Salvation Army is now focused on supporting the thousands of refugees from Afghanistan, Syria and north African countries who pass through Victoria Square, Athens. Each day, several hundred people receive practical humanitarian assistance; sandwiches, water, milk, hygiene packs, clothes and nappies. The team are currently developing a ‘drop in’ centre close to Victoria Square which will provide pastoral support, washing facilities, communication possibilities, information and advice. New video: https://vimeo.com/salvationarmyihq/eurrefitgr Read the personal reflections of a Salvation Army relief worker deployed to Athens  http://www.salvationarmy.org/ihq/news/inf231015

Hungary -The Salvation Army handed out clothes, shoes, hygiene articles, sleeping bags, blankets, water and food to refugees who gathered at rail stations. Borders have now been closed.

France -The Salvation Army is providing space for 275 migrants in various centres and is offering meals to 60-80 migrants in Marseille.
United Kingdom -The Salvation Army in the United Kingdom has offered to commit personnel, funds and property to assist in the continuing crisis.

Belgium -Nearly 100 refugees - including families and very small children -  are being accommodated in a special Salvation Army centre in Brussels. A further 20 men are being provided with shelter and meals at a Salvation Army hostel in the capital. Belgian corps are distributing food and clothing to refugees.

Italy -A Salvation Army centre in Rome has been hosting mainly Eritrean asylum seekers since May 2015, providing accommodation and food along with legal support in the process of gaining refugee status.  The 'l'Uliveto' centre, in Atena Lucana in the south of the country, is hosting 50 Nigerian refugees. Update 15/04/2016: https://vimeo.com/salvationarmyihq/eurrefitgr

The Netherlands -The Salvation Army has doubled its capacity for hosting refugees from 75 to 150 beds, with additional beds in crisis centres for the most marginalised. Over 1,000 have received emergency shelter. Refugees living in other shelters are being provided with clothing.

Germany -In around 20 centres in Germany The Salvation Army is working together with other organisations and local authorities to provide shelter and other support, including  language lessons and clothing.  Salvation Army properties are being utilised for temporary accommodation. See www.salvationarmy.org/ihq/news/inf221015  Updated: 15 December 2015 - The Salvation Army in Leipzig has set up a small 'light-build' warehouse to run as a base for its work with refugees. See http://www.salvationarmy.org/ihq/news/inr151215. The work of 'Die Brücke' (The Bridge), a Salvation Army community centre in the city was also featured in this German-language video by DCF, a German Christian TV station.  https://vimeo.com/143907293

Austria -Austria has agreed to receive 1,500 refugees a day. The Salvation Army has opened a shelter in Vienna for up to 40 refugees.

Denmark -Salvationists from Denmark travel each evening across the Øresund bridge to greet refugees at Malmö railway station, 40 minutes from Copenhagen. In excess of 400 refugees are met each evening and guided towards the reception centre.

Sweden -A Salvation Army team has been welcoming refugees at the border city of Malmö. Interpreters provide information about where to seek for asylum. Refugees are accompanied to the temporary receptions then taken to a place to sleep one or two nights. Over 100 have been accommodated so far.  For many years The Salvation Army in Jönköping has been running a hostel for unaccompanied minors. This year it has increased capacity from 23 to 26. In addition, seven minors who have already gained asylum are being supported as they work towards independence. In other locations across the country, shelter and other support is also offered to refugees. Two additional properties are currently being prepared to house young migrants. At the Finland border, clothes are being distributed to hundreds of refuges staying at the asylum centre.  Many centres provide language training/come-together meetings.  

Norway -Accommodation is being provided by The Salvation Army for newly-arrived refugees in Oslo (250 people), as well as emergency accommodation for 150 refugees in Farsund  in the south of the country. Update 9 February 2016: Online video shows Salvation Army response in Raufoss: http://www.salvationarmy.org/ihq/news/inf090216

Finland -In several places in Finland The Salvation Army has started communications with the Red Cross and other organisations who are running reception centres for asylum seekers to discuss possible coordination and support.

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 135 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter for the homeless, and opportunities for underprivileged children. For more information, visit SalvationArmyUSA.org