Gastvrij Oost

HOOST

In early February Gastvrij Oost will launch a temporary small-scale residential facility called HOOST at the Mauritskade in the east of Amsterdam. HOOST Mauritskade is intended for a close group of about 30 refugees, pending their asylum procedure, with support from local residents, to take care themselves for their reception.

HOOST Mauritskade is an initiative of a grope of citizens from the east of Amsterdam, emerged from personal contacts with a group of refugees who arrived at the sports facility at the Polderweg last September.

Gastvrij Oost looked after a house in the neighborhood where this group can live for several months. Over the next five months, the temporary residents with the support of local residents can live independently and run their household in a former office building of Ymere the Mauritskade.

With HOOST Mauritskade Gastvrij Oost shows that there is another way; that small-scale local reception with support from society can be a viable alternative.

People who want to help can visit our facebook group, which day by day is maintained what is needed, click here.

To facilitate this initiative, cooperation with eastern district, the Taskforce to shelter refugees from the municipality of Amsterdam and Ymere.

For more information about HOOST Mauritskade please read the Frequently Asked Questions below.

FAQ ‘HOOST’ Mauritskade

What is Hoost?
Who took the initiative?
What is the motivation?
What does HOOST aim for?
Why these people?
Who are these people, where are they from?

Who owns the property?
Is the municipality involved in project HOOST?
Is this a temp shelter (noodopvang) or an AZC?
What is the difference to other centers in Amsterdam?
How long do they stay?
Where are the temporary residents going next?
Does this group cause nuisance in your neighborhood?
Who are the people of Gastvrij Oost?
Can I assist?
Information & contact

What is Hoost?
HOOST Mauritskade is a small, temporary housing facility in the Oosterparkbuurt in the east of Amsterdam for a close group of about 30 refugees, pending their asylum procedure, with support from the local community, taking care of themselves for their reception.

Who took the initiative?
HOOST is an initiative of Gastvrij Oost; a collaboration of citizens and business owners in Amsterdam Eastside who are committed to offering refugees a warm welcome, and opportunities to get involved in our city. Gastvrij Oost focuses on small customized solutions in close enable, where local residents and refugees themselves can work together for meeting, reception, integration and housing for those with a flight background.

The initiative HOOST Mauritskade originated from the personal contacts of a number of local residents with a group of refugees who arrived at the sports facility at Polderweg last September. That group is now staying in the tent camp in Nijmegen, but the contacts with Amsterdam East remained. With Gastvrij Oost they focused on a plan for a house in the neighborhood where this group can stay.

What is the motivation?
Due to the large number of refugees in recent years which has entered the Netherlands, there are difficulties to find permanent housing. At present we are working hard across the country to find accommodation for asylum seekers who have received a residence permit; unfortunatly they now reside in large shelters. A lot of newcomers are being much longer than planned at locations which are meant for temporary emergency shelter. Not only the long wait, but also the lack of opportunities to do something and to learn about Dutch society, brings a lot of refugees in a backlog, to catch up later is difficult.

What does HOOST aim for?
The refugees in the sports hall in East now resides in the large-scale relief (3,000 people) in Nijmegen, where the circumstances are rather ‘basic’. People sleep for months in space without any privacy, with a lot of noise in tents which are not always resistant to cold and wind. The possibilities of daytime activities are very limited.

The idea of HOOST is to give a group of about 30 people a few months the chance to settle down and live in a more independent way and live. We want to show that there is another way; that small-scale local reception with support from society can be a viable alternative.

Why these people?
We want this project to be a success. Because this group of refugees we know personally, and they now also mutually form a strong group, we have chosen for them. Additionally, they are motivated to take responsibility for their household and they want to do something for the Dutch society. They like to get in touch with neighbors.

Who are these people, where are they from?
The group temporarily at the Mauritskade are about thirty people from various areas in Syria. It’s about two families with children, couples and a few single men, some with a family that is left behind in Syria. Some had good jobs (pharmacist, architect, economist) or own businesses, others are housewives or students. There will be four children between the ages of five to eight years. For them we are looking for a school in the neighborhood. Like children in other emergency locations they have a right to education.

All these people are currently waiting for their asylum procedure, they have been registered and they are expected to get a residence permit in February.

Who owns the property?
The building on the Mauritskade is an office building and ownership of housing corporation Ymere. At this time it is no longer in use as such.The property is managed until February 1, 2016 through Zwerfkei and inhabited by a number of students. In the course of this year Ymere wants to change the destination of the property into “residential use” and convert to more than 20 small housing units for first-time buyers, including people who have a residence status as a refugee has been granted.

During the time needed to get all the permits and to prepare a restart, Ymere gives the property on loan to the municipality eastern district. The district provides Gastvrij Oost to make use of the property for the project HOOST during the period February to July 2016.

Is the municipality involved in project HOOST?
The Amsterdam approach of refugees is deployed on customization, the strength of the refugees themselves, and collaboration with initiatives from Amsterdam society. Throughout Amsterdam and certainly in the East have in recent months, many residents and organizations are deployed around the facilities and activities for refugees. The municipality and the district to see the initiative Gastvrij Oost also as a wonderful opportunity to give the Amsterdam approach further shape and content. With such a small reception center, at the initiative of local residents, the municipality can gain experience with this type of relief. The municipality has helped in various ways to enable the initiative, including by acting at the request of the initiators as intermediary for the commissioning of the property, by passing this initiative in talks with the COA, and share your to think about communication and the networks that are involved in the neighborhood. 

The district authorities  evaluates the procedures of the plans Gastvrij Oost to comply.

Is this a temp shelter (noodopvang) or an AZC?
Neither of both. HOOST is a citizens’ initiative and not a formal reception center such as the Havenstraat or Marnixstraat. Well, we work closely with the relevant agencies. Our residents are officially registered in Amsterdam. Also, they are confident and they can make use of health care.

What is the difference to other centers in Amsterdam?
The group at the Mauritskade will take care of the household on their own:  shopping, cooking, house cleaning, etc. The idea is that they regain control of their own lives. They themselves bring their children to school in the neighborhood, learn Dutch and would like to meet with local residents. Gastvrij Oost appeals to local residents and businesses to help.

How long do the people stay?
During February, the group will make its move into the building on the Mauritskade. Some of them will be in the building in the last week of that month to help with preparatory work. Gstvrij Oost has the property to the Mauritskade on loan until the end of June 2016.

Where are the temporary residents going next?
COA or the city of Amsterdam provides housing after that time. That may be another reception center or more permanent housing. They derive in any case no right to housing during their temporary stay in the Mauritskade. 

Does this group cause nuisance in your neighborhood?
HOOST Mauritskade is a small residential facility, of no more than 35 residents. Gastvrij Oost makes agreements with the residents on the use of the property, there is no reason to assume that there will be a nuisance, but there will always be someone to welcoming East are present or accessible through the mobile number 06-15 43 41 62 . There may also be contacted with the area coordinator of district East, Pieter Klapwijk, at number 06-83 64 85 64. Welcoming East has good contacts with the district, the police and other authorities.

Who are the people of Gastvrij Oost?
Gastvrij Oost is a community of residents, organizations and entrepreneurs from Amsterdam East who want to make a difference in the reception of refugees. Some have been active for years, others now join. Gastvrij Oost believes in the power of the society and the empowerment of refugees. Gastvrij Oost wants a dialogue with local projects and show that it can be different. Anyone who will feel addressed or would like to contribute can join (see information & contact).

Can I assist?
If you want to contribute further to this story than you are most welcome.

In the coming weeks we are working hard to make the property habitable. There must be collected furniture, such as beds, tables, chairs, cabinets, sofas, curtains. There are kitchen utensils needed (plates, cutlery, pans and other cooking utensils). But the new residents also need to know the neighborhood and neighbors, and to create here meritorious. The refugees may not work, but volunteering is permitted under certain conditions.

If you want to help with chores, paints etc, do you like to once more help in the months to do cooking or grocery shopping, you want to meet, or want to support us financially, see contacts below. On the FB group ‘HOOST Mauritskade‘ you can read what the needs are.

Information and contact
Voor meer informatie en contact kunt u terecht op: 

Ruud • 18/01/2016


Previous Post

Next Post