Guest blog from Positive Action in Housing. Photo shows Malik, 21, from Sierra Leone, living with Hena and Hugh, both graphic designers in London. Credit: Alicia Canter
Room for Refugees is a network of volunteers from all over Scotland and the UK. Volunteers offer safe, temporary room in their homes for women, children and men from refugee backgrounds fleeing persecution and torture in their country of origin. We support those who have no recourse to public funds, have exhausted their own resources and are about to be made destitute.
We are challenging the “hostile environment” with a human response that is reaping life transforming results for everyone who takes part.
The network provides vulnerable people the breathing space to assess their options and secure the support needed to gain a positive decision on their asylum claim or be granted ‘Leave to Remain’.
We work with local authorities to find long-term homes and families for unaccompanied children. We offer bail addresses to those wrongly detained by the Home Office in immigration detention. We work with caseworkers to provide temporary accommodation and pastoral support to vulnerable people with no recourse to public funds, where shelter can give them the stability they need to begin resolving their situation.
We work all over the UK with over 300 non-profit referral organisations such as the British Red Cross, Freedom from Torture and Crisis to find suitable emergency accommodation for vulnerable people without recourse to public funds so they can begin rebuilding their lives.
Why you should support the project and become a host:
Room for Refugees started out in 2002, pioneered by Positive Action in Housing. Although we work all over Scotland and the UK, Glasgow is where it all started and where we are committed to providing a realistic response to homelessness and destitution.
Earlier this month, asylum housing provider Serco announced it would re-start the process of lock change evictions for over 300 asylum seeking men and women. Last summer, Glasgow came out in full force to protest these evictions and the injustice against vulnerable people in our Society. We made enough noise to halt the evictions for nearly a year, however, despite ongoing proceedings in the Court of Session, Serco will begin the process of evicting up to 30 people a week. Most of these individuals will be left homeless and destitute, and up to 100 have refugee status and the same housing rights as UK citizens but haven’t yet been supported by the council to find housing.
We often take a roof over our heads for granted and forget how important having a safe place to go home to is for rebuilding your life and getting on with your normal routine. It gives individuals and families a little breathing space to resolve their situation. This could be finding a job or education; saving up for a deposit on rent; working on their immigration case or simply having the time to get involved in activities in their community.
How can you get involved?
Do you have a free room and want to become a host ? Join a unique network and help the integration of refugees through our innovative hosting program. To sign up, complete the registration form online at roomforrefugees.com
To refer refugees or those claiming asylum who have no recourse to funds, please also visit our website.
If you are unable to host refugees but would like to make a contribution, please go to roomforrefugees.com/#help to give a donation. Your donation, however modest, gives people hope to rebuild their lives.
If you would like to volunteer, donate or ask a question, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org/ 0141 353 2220
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