Praxis Community Projects

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Preventing Destitution

Do you want to help destitute migrants find shelter?

  • Are you concerned about the needs of destitute refugees on the streets of London?
  • Do you have a spare room or a sofa bed which you could make available either short or longer term?
  • If you cannot host, would you support others who can?
  • Would you, your church or community group set up a project to facilitate the hosting of refugees?

Who we are

London Hosting is a new initiative which aims to develop hosting capacities across London. The group was created in 2010 as a response to what we saw as an extreme need to create viable alternative accommodation provision for destitute migrants who have no access to public funds. Group members belong to different voluntary organisations in London (Spare Room, Housing Justice, London Churches Refugee Network, Praxis etc.) which strive to make hosting options in London better supported and more readily available.

From 2011 the London hosting development team has been supported by Praxis Community Projects.  Praxis has experience of running very successful hosting schemes in the past. Its team of advisers, working with forced migrants with insecure status and no recourse to public funds, makes sure that immigration, benefits, legal and health issues in guests’ lives are being resolved so that they can successfully move on. Praxis will be the agency that refers guests to London Hosting hosts. Other support agencies wishing to inquire about referrals should contact Praxis.

http://londonhosting.wordpress.com/

How we work:

  • By recruiting, assessing, training and continuously supporting people who are able and willing to host migrants in a difficult situation, and matching them with potential guests in the best way possible (see more detail in the FAQ for hosts). We respect the dignity of all and endeavour to ensure that neither guest nor host is exploited.
  • By securing support for hosts and guests through a community-based support fund;
  • By carrying out development work in the community to support or help to start small (or potentially not so small!) local hosting and support initiatives, in collaboration with local churches, other faith organisations, voluntary and refugee support groups.
Praxis also provides advice for other professionals working with migrants on our advice line, 020 7749 7608, Monday to Friday 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 4pm.
 

Why is hosting needed

Thousands of destitute migrants find themselves, through no fault of their own, in London without sources of support or ability to return home. They are unable to get help with accommodation from local authorities and most charities because they have no right of recourse to public funds. This is usually necessary to secure a place in regular accommodation. They are, for the most part, barred from working and cannot earn money. They may have a strong asylum case which has been badly handled, leaving them in a limbo. Or they may be migrant women fleeing from abusive and violent spouses, and unable to access a shelter because of their ‘no recourse’ status.

In many cases, homelessness makes people extremely vulnerable to illnesses, mental breakdown, and to becoming victims of crime. It makes it more difficult to make progress on their casework because life is inevitably chaotic and communication difficult.

If  you have spare room and want to host people

You can offer the free space you may have in your home to a destitute migrant or a person seeking asylum. If you are willing to give hosting a go, please read our FAQ for hosts where you will find out more on what is expected and fill in an application form. We will then contact you for an assessment and interview. 

If you cannot host

If you do not have spare room, you can still help in other ways:

  • Donate to our destitution support fund. We believe that hosting should be voluntary. We do recognise, however, that it involves extra expenses, so would like to make a support fund available to those hosts and guests who may need it (for example, for travel expenses, medicines, food etc.)
  • Volunteer to spread the word and to raise awareness of the issues forced migrants face in your community, voluntary or faith group.
  • Set up a local hosting project with the help and support from London Hosting.

 


 

 

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