A radical and enterprising scheme working with vulnerable migrants with no recourse to public funds has been shortlisted for the prestigious Andy Ludlow Awards.
Temporary Homes is a housing programme supporting vulnerable homeless migrant individuals and families with immigration support needs and/or No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) from outside the European Union.
Jean Demars, Project Lead, said: “Insecure immigration status is often seen as a barrier to accessing services, including housing. We see it as another support need that needs to be addressed. Our specialist immigration team carry out intensive case work whilst we provide accommodation in self-catering properties or through our volunteer hosts who open their homes to provide temporary accommodation . Praxis also offers a number of group-based activities which people can join to regain confidence and learn new skills. ”.
Susanne from Nigeria arrived in the UK when she was 12. She was subject to physical abuse and made to do menial tasks by her Aunt with whom she stayed. Susanne eventually escaped from her Auntie’s but Social Services had no legal responsibility to care for her and she lived from friend to friend for a while until one mother contacted Praxis for help. Praxis organised a hosting placement in her area so that she could continue to study. She was hosted for 15 months before she was granted “leave to remain” in the UK. Because of UKBA slow processing, this case alone needed as much as £1,500 from the Praxis hardship fund. She is now working and living in the private rented sector.
Anja is one of Praxis’ volunteer hosts and has taken in three migrants in the last year. She said: “We got involved because like many people we wanted to help, but had limited time. But we did have space! Our three bedroom house was a great resource and we thought it could be used to help migrants. This group is perhaps the most vulnerable. They have absolutely no way of getting funds or any financial help, and suffer discrimination. They are very misunderstood. Being a volunteer host and inviting people into your home not only gives them a temporary home but also shows that there are people who welcome and value them”.
Simon Dow, Chair of the London Housing Foundation, said “All of our Andy Ludlow Awards shortlisted projects this year do an excellent job in different ways. It is encouraging that there is so much innovative and exciting work going on in the homelessness sector in London”
For more information about Praxis click here