When people arrive with nothing, possibly not even speaking the language, the challenge of finding accommodation is far greater than simply identifying a place to live, although that itself is very difficult.
When a person is granted the right to remain, the legal challenge is over, but many practical challenges reamin and some become much harder: the offical support disappears.
Bristol has a housing shortage even before we start to help refugees. There are significant challenges in where and how accommodation is provided.
|Bristol Hospitality Network|
|Easton Jubilee Trust|
|Home for Good|
|Kensington Baptist Church|
|St Nicholas of Tolentino|
A message from Sarah Malone at Citizens UK:
Calling all landlords – do you have a rental property you could make available for Syrian refugees at a guaranteed rental income? Citizens UK Bristol group are working with the Council to find suitable accommodation. See the website link or contact email@example.com for more information
One strand of their work is helping to care for children who arrive in the UK without responsible adults.
A message from Luke Brightwell at Home for Good:
In terms of Home for Good we are (to my knowledge) the only Christian organisation doing what we are doing. We are not a recruiter ourselves. We aim to make people aware of the need for foster carers and adoptive parents. We aim to encourage people to go forward to become approved, but we do not approve ourselves. Instead we aim to support people right from the start for the rest of their journey of approval and then into the real day to day life of fostering/adopting.
We work closely with CCPAS, Care for the Family and Evangelical Alliance (we were initially part of all 3, but are now a charity in our own right).
For fostering, we point to the Local Authority – potential carers have a choice of local authority or independent agency. The Local Authority always has first chance to place a child, but if they have no carers free then they will seek an independent agency – this costs them about 3 times as much. In Southampton this nearly crippled the council financially.
For adoption, we go with a voluntary adoption agency – in the South West this is Families for Children. They are a charity, faith literacy trained and offer outstanding ongoing support. We go this route as they already work closely with local authorities, part of things like Adoption South West for example. They specialise in placing harder to place children – this is our passion too. Harder to place are children age 5+, sibling groups, ethnic minorities and children with any disability or uncertain development concerns.
We seek local movements to offer more local based support – it means that someone considering becoming a foster carer or adoptive parent can meet up with someone locally. It means they can be part of support groups. It means we can hold one off or regular event that encourage and keep people going. We believe this is one of the hardest things to do as children are removed as a result of trauma and abuse, the results of which can be long lasting and extremely challenging.
We also try to do events as a local movement to encourage people to come forward. This can create finances. For example we are contracted by some local authorities to find them foster carers, they pay us out of their media budget, so instead of a poster on the back of a bus, we put a person in place.
We get local movements to become a charity or set up as part of an existing one.