Sezar Hajmusa, 10, from Homs, Syria

Sezar Hajmusa, 10, from Homs, Syria, goes room to room helping with vacuuming at the City Plaza Hotel in Athens, which was recently taken over by activists and now is home to more than 300 refugees.

Credit:

Jodi Hilton/Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting

The movement of refugees into Europe has subsided, at least some, but there are still thousands of migrants and asylum-seekers in Europe who are awaiting word on their status: Will they be granted asylum, or not?

But as they wait, they're forced to live on minimal government handouts, and with no ability to work. Especially for families with children, that can be an exceedingly diffcult life.

In Athens, one of the first big cities migrants may come to, a group of activists have taken over a hotel that that ran into financial problems during Greece's economic crisis. They didn't buy the building or anything, they just moved in.

For the 300-plus migrants who have now moved into the City Plaza Hotel, the building is a place where they can start over, a place to wait while they find out where they'll go next.

The City Plaza Hotel, in central Athens, was abandoned after developing financial problems and was recently taken by activists to accommodate refugees.

Credit:

Jodi Hilton/Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting

Jamila, an asylum-seeker from Iran and mother of four, is now staying with her children and grandchildren at the City Plaza Hotel in Athens, home to 300-plus immigrants, many of whom were staying in camps before the hotel was established as an alternative.

Credit:

Jodi Hilton/Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting

Refugees share in cleaning and maintaining the City Plaza Hotel, currently home to more than 300 people from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran.

Credit:

Jodi Hilton/Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting

Room keys at the City Plaza Hotel in central Athens, which was abandoned for years starting during Greece's financial crisis, and was recently taken by activists to accommodate refugees.

Credit:

Jodi Hilton/Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting

Cristian Herrera, the kitchen coordinator and a professional chef, plays with a refugee child at the City Plaza Hotel.

Credit:

Jodi Hilton/Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting

Kaiti Aravandinou, a Greek woman, holds one-month-old Miriyam, born to a young Syrian couple who she hosted at her home, until a space opened for them at the City Plaza Hotel, now occupied by more than 300 refugees and immigrants.

Credit:

Jodi Hilton/Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting

Wajiha cries when she reflects on the dangerous journey she and her husband, Ali Jaffari, and two sons Shayan, 4, and Ghazi, 2, undertook to get to Europe. Now they are stuck in Greece and have little chance to continue their journey to Germany. In Afghanistan, Jaffari was threatened by the Taliban for his work with foreigners, especially Americans. He's a computer scientist and translator.

Credit:

Jodi Hilton/Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting

The children's room, where activities for kids are coordinated by volunteers at the City Plaza Hotel in central Athens.

Credit:

Jodi Hilton/Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting

Ali Jaffari and his wife, Wajiha, and son Shayan, 4, eat dinner in their room while their other son naps. Together they traveled from Afghanistan to Greece, hoping to make their way to Germany. Now they are stuck in Greece.

Credit:

Jodi Hilton/Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting

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