Survivors need Housing and Welfare support because once an individual has been trafficked and tortured, they are at huge risk of being re-exploited. If Survivors do not find a place to rest of safety and security they can find themselves in incredibly dangerous situations. We provide this support to stop traffickers and abusers preying on those that are vulnerable.
WHY DO SURVIVORS NEED HOUSING AND WELFARE SUPPORT?
Survivors seeking asylum, and with no recourse to public funds, have very limited options for safe accommodation or enough money to meet their needs. Survivors in receipt of asylum support, receive £39.60 per person per week, and are reliant on foodbanks and charitable support to meet their needs. They are frequently housed in accommodation which is not suitable to their needs. Many Survivors, depending on their asylum claim, are not eligible for any financial support. Destitution can expose Survivors, yet again, to situations of violence, abuse and exploitation leading to further physical and emotional harm. Therefore, it is absolutely essential that Survivors’ welfare is cared for.
Surprisingly a key moment of vulnerability is, just when a Survivors’ status as refugees have been recognised, when many are made homeless because of the delays in transferring to Universal Credit.
WHAT’S OUR SOLUTION?
The Helen Bamber Housing and Welfare Team finds short term and long term housing for Survivors at risk of homelessness and destitution. We ensure that our clients’ practical, every day needs are met so their very real risk of exploitation, abuse and re-trafficking is reduced. We enable Survivors to focus their energy on recovery and moving forward with their lives.
OUR HOUSING AND WELFARE SUPPORT IS TENACIOUS, RESOLUTE AND COMPASSIONATE
We provide support for Survivors in crisis. This support includes challenging wrongful termination of support, unlawful refusal of support, administrative errors and appealing when accommodation for Survivors is dangerous or unsafe. We also recover money for clients who have experienced delayed or absent support.
The Helen Bamber Foundation’s Housing and Welfare casework provides support during the challenging transition from asylum seeker to refugee. Once an asylum application has been granted, there is no automatic duty to provide accomodation for new refugees; they must apply to a local authority to be considered for housing. This process is intimidating, hostile and incredibly difficult for a Survivor of trafficking and torture. We support new refugees through this process. We accompany them to appointments, ensure they have a safe place to live and help them manage their new home successfully.
SOME FACTS ABOUT OUR HOUSING & WELFARE SUPPORT
In 2019 the Housing and Welfare Team supported 260 clients through
1066 face to face and telephone appointments
provided 333 letters, assisting them with applications, destitution and homelessness.
94% of housing and welfare problems were resolved, with a long term resolution in under 3 months.
When I was homeless with my son, the Helen Bamber Foundation fought for me, found me a home. When my housing had bed bugs, they fought for me again. They’ve never made me feel guilty or judged. Instead I feel that I am not alone. Whatever I go through, they go through with me.