Many survivors of torture and human cruelty experience social deprivation and socio-economic hardship; they often lack a permanent or safe place to live and are at risk of destitution.
Clients have often been indoctrinated to fear seeking help from any form of authority and so struggle to access available support or advocate for themselves and are therefore vulnerable to potential abuse and exploitation.
The Helen Bamber Foundation’s dedicated Housing and Welfare Team provides holistic housing and welfare support, including supporting clients to access emergency accommodation and urgent financial support, secure permanent housing and access appropriate community and statutory services.
Without this support, recovery from trauma would not be possible.
Ifan* has been a client of the Helen Bamber Foundation for many years. Ifan is severely unwell as a result of multiple trauma he experienced growing up in country torn apart by war. As soon as Ifan was able, he fled the war in his home country and claimed asylum in the UK. He re-experiences traumatic events from his childhood again and again through vivid flashbacks and nightmares.
Ifan’s application for asylum took more than three years to process but once it was successful, he was given just 28 days to leave his accommodation. Ifan had no money and no friends and found himself homeless. The local authority did not understand Ifan’s condition and initially refused to house him.
Ifan’s psychological health deteriorated and we became extremely concerned for his safety. We worked intensively with Ifan, attending meetings and appeals, writing clinical concern letters and making phone calls and finally Ifan was granted suitable accommodation.
Ifan seems to be recovering but the period of homelessness has caused significant setbacks in his long road to recovery
*all names are pseudonyms