'Hostile environment' forces temporary closure of Hackney Migrant Centre
Hackney Migrant Centre is closing in April for one month to due to unprecedented demand for their services caused by the 'hostile environment' for migrants.
In a statement issued last week, the centre said: 'The hostile environment has meant visitors we see at HMC arrive with ever increasing numbers of problems.
'We have seen a growth in the number of families who are destitute and the number of people who have problems accessing healthcare. It’s more difficult for those who need legal advice to find the support they require.'
The centre said it was harder to refer clients on due to legal aid cuts and austerity measures so more case-work was happening 'in-house'.
The statement said: 'As a small organisation with only part-time members of staff, we are struggling to respond to the number of cases we are seeing at the drop-in.
'We are committed to working in a way which will most benefit visitors to our drop-in without over-stretching ourselves or having a negative impact on the wellbeing of our staff.'
The centre will use the pause to 'evaluate our current working model, our organisation and staffing capacity, review our priorities and how we can best try to support the visitors to our service.'
The centre said that they will continue to work on cases they had already agreed to take on, but staff may be slower to respond to emails and calls.