Hosting Toolkit - migrants experiencing destitution
From an announcement by NACCOM
In response to rising levels of migrant destitution and increasing public support for refugees facing homelessness, NACCOM and Homeless Link have launched the sector’s first ‘Hosting Toolkit’, a how-to guide helping members of the public provide spare rooms to migrants experiencing destitution.
The toolkit brings together expertise from across the sector to encourage the development of hosting as a practical response to rising migrant destitution. It contains practical advice on setting up a hosting scheme, including recruiting, training and supporting volunteers, alongside examples of schemes in operation.
What is hosting?
Hosting is the term used for when members of the public offer a spare room for free to someone- often a refugee or asylum seeker- who would otherwise be homeless. It is one of the major ways to help tackle such destitution. Beneficiaries are generally people who have had their asylum support suspended or stopped, but who are unable to leave the country. Other examples of people who access this support include those have been granted refugee status but face homelessness due to delays with accessing state support, housing and employment.
How many schemes are there?
Two years ago, NACCOM was supporting 11 hosting schemes. Figures released last year showed that this number had grown to 21 schemes, engaging around 300 households and 150 guests. Since then, the number of schemes has increased to at least 24 with several new projects starting up in recent months.
Participants of Grace Hosting in Leeds explain in the Toolkit how hosting creates a stable environment where residents can concentrate on their asylum claims and find ‘hope and friendship’. One host explains their involvement; "We started hosting in March 2015 and have hosted many people, mainly from North Africa and the Middle East…. We’ve been able to connect with people through cooking and eating together and have met some really nice people as well as learnt some lovely recipes from different parts of the world… Sometimes we see people more than once, which has been nice because we’ve been able to get to know people more and have built up some good relationships. We’ve really enjoyed the experience and what we have always tried to do is offer a warm welcome. Having heard from some people who’ve stayed with us that they’ve experienced prejudice and hostility during their time in the UK, this is all the more important to us."
On the ambitions behind the Toolkit, NACCOM coordinator and co-author of the Toolkit, Dave Smith writes, "Volunteers and community groups across the country are showing extraordinary generosity by giving people in search of safety somewhere to call home. We want to develop this kind of practical and life-saving work whilst ensuring that the people running these schemes are properly supported along the way. By definition, destitution is inhumane. As a policy, it does not reflect the values of decency, fairness and hospitality that many people hold dear. In this way, hosting is about more than making space in homes. It is about doing life differently, and is an exciting and important conversation to be part of."
Access the toolkit here.
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