When Umar was made homeless once he was granted refugee status, he lost the job he had secured, along with his ability to support himself. Support from ‘Students and Refugees Together’, and a Vicar’s Relief Fund grant, meant that he was able to move into a safe and stable home, where he can start rebuilding his life with dignity.

Umar was granted refugee status after a period living in temporary accommodation as an asylum seeker in the UK. Being granted this status meant that he was made homeless, due to being evicted from his temporary accommodation and left with little time and resources to find a permanent home. Due to this, Umar began sleeping on his friend’s floors. During this time, he was supported successfully into a job by a partner organisation of Students and Refugees Together (START), but wasn’t able to start the job as he lacked a stable address. 

“Many of the people we work with do not have family links and are unable to build resources due to their low income being in the asylum system. Having access to the VRF is a lifeline for those needing to not only access private rented accommodation, but who need to access it urgently to prevent, or end a period of rough sleeping.”

Marigold, START caseworker

Umar’s situation was unsustainable, and he needed to find a home. START, an organisation that supports newly granted refugees in Plymouth, were luckily on-hand to work with Umar to solve his housing needs. The team at START supported Umar to find a room, and applied to St Martin-in-the-Fields Charity’s Vicar’s Relief Fund (VRF) to secure it. The grant covered the deposit required to allow Umar to move in, and opened the door to stability and security for him.  

The new home meant that Umar was able to start work, and begin living independently. He was very happy to be able to have his own home and to have the responsibility of paying his own rent, once he had been helped by VRF to first access the tenancy. 

*Umar’s name has been changed to protect his identity, but his story is real.

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