Your support is a lifeline for people seeking a safe haven

Thousands of refugees in the UK face homelessness

People who have been forced from their homes to seek refuge in the UK face an onslaught of legal, social and linguistic barriers. Destitution is common amongst those with uncertain immigration status, or who have not yet had their asylum requests granted, as fear of the hostile environment and lack of access to public funds pushes them further into isolation, poverty, and ill-health. But difficulties don’t end when refugee status is granted. The eviction from temporary accommodation that swiftly follows their approval, coupled with soaring private rental costs, often forces people into unsafe and exploitative sleeping situations, or onto the streets.

And the problem is only getting worse

Constantly shifting laws make it increasingly difficult for charities and support services, let alone individuals, to navigate the UK’s complex and hostile asylum and immigration system. Data from the UK Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, shows that more than 5,000 refugee households were classed as homeless between October and December 2023. Not only is this figure four times that of the same period in 2022, but it falls drastically short of the estimated reality.

But the St Martin’s Charity community is stepping in…

Vicar's Relief Fund

Students and Refugees Together (START) is a small charitable organisation in Plymouth that works with newly granted refugees. Their aim is to offer practical support in several key areas assisting them to access benefits, housing, healthcare, education, and employment. The Vicar’s Relief Fund is an essential resource for START to support people into homes, by providing funds for deposits.

Frontline Fund

The vast majority of patients experiencing homelessness can’t access legal advice, and so hospital admissions are a unique opportunity to link people with complicated immigration statuses up to legal experts. That’s why St Martin-in-the-Fields Charity funds the Pathway Legal Advice Project. This collaboration with the UK’s leading homeless and inclusion health charity, Pathway, is the only one of its kind providing access to vital housing and immigration advice for patients who are experiencing homelessness.

Frontline Network

People who migrate are over-represented in homelessness statistics and organisations often struggle to assist them. That’s why the Pan-London Migrant Frontline Network (PLMFLN) provides information and knowledge to build the capacity of those working with homeless migrants across different support services.

Training Fund

Amy from the Helen Bamber Foundation explains how the St Martin’s Charity Frontline Network Training Fund has helped her feel more confident supporting survivors of trafficking to apply for housing when their refugee status is approved, so that they can focus on their recovery and moving forward with their lives in a safe environment, without fear of further exploitation, abuse, or re-trafficking.

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