Hosting refugees in Nottingham

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Refugees are not pawns on the chessboard of humanity, they are brothers and sisters to be welcomed, respected and loved - Pope Francis

Would you consider offering your spare room for an asylum seeker or refugee to use for a short time? asks Jane Henson of Host Nottingham.

Host Nottingham was founded in 2011 to provide short term accommodation for asylum seekers and refugees in people’s homes. We have hosted hundreds of guests with dozens of hosts. We work closely with the other organisations and agencies in the City who support those seeking sanctuary.

During the Covid-19 pandemic many destitute asylum seekers and refugees have been sleeping precariously on floors, sharing beds, sofa surfing and as the lock down has begun to ease they are in danger of homelessness. Most have been very frightened and anxious about their own health, their precarious situations and fearful of what is happening to their families in countries where there are very few medical resources.

When people are seeking asylum and sanctuary in the UK, having fled wars, torture, rape, political unrest and much more, they are not permitted to work.The process of seeking asylum can take years as they work with solicitors to try and convince the Home Office of their need for protection. When they are finally granted refugee status, often after many years, they are permitted to access housing and benefits and start to try and find work.

Over the last few months we have been working with other agencies, to try and find permanent private rented accommodation for those who have refugee status in order that they can start to look for work or continue their education. However, we know that over the coming months there will be an increasing need for permanent accommodation for refugees. Destitute asylum seekers, with no recourse to public funds, will need to have short term accommodation while more permanent solutions are being sourced.

Would you like to know more about hosting and how it works? Would you think about offering your spare room to give a welcome and security for a short time to an asylum seeker? If you live in the Nottingham area, Host Nottingham would love to hear from you. We can introduce you to others who have hosted to learn more about it and share your questions? You are not making any commitment by asking questions or showing an interest. We are aware that this is a big ask, but we know that it is also a really mutually valuable experience for the hosts and the guests.

Do you know of landlords in the City who have properties that they would rent to Refugees? If so we would love to hear about them.

If you are interested in learning more about hosting or supporting asylum seekers or refugees, Please contact Jane Henson (hostnottingham@gmail.com) or phone 07940 548 832.

For further information, please do look at our website - www.hostnottingham.org.uk.