A growing number of refugees are being evicted from Home Office accommodation at short notice, putting them at risk of homelessness. Refugee hosting organisations are experiencing record referrals and looking for hosts, as the number evicted into homelessness has tripled since changes to government policy.
It’s a dire situation, but there are ways you can help.
Refugees at Home, a charity connecting refugees with hosts, said it had seen 204 referrals in October – triple the number the previous year.
“Many people are coming to us having slept on park benches, in mosques and churches or on friends’ floors. We know anecdotally of young, vulnerable refugees who are being preyed on and recruited into drugs gangs because there is no other support,” said executive director Carly Whyborn.
“Many of those coming to us are people who have been given very little time to leave their Home Office accommodation – just a week, in some cases. In its haste to clear the backlog of asylum applications and get people out of hotels the government is just pushing the problem further down the line. Charities like us are stretched beyond our limits trying to help refugees who are being turfed out at short notice and are facing winter on the streets.”
The Big Issue this week told the story of Adam, a newly-recognised Yemeni refugee who would be sleeping on the streets without the help of several host families from Refugees at Home.