Grace Hosting – an update for new volunteers

Many thanks to everyone who has contacted us to offer accommodation through our Grace Hosting Scheme.

If you are offering to specifically house new refugee arrivals in the UK, you need to know that it is unlikely that the UK will be taking in any refugees direct from Europe. The Prime Minister has pledged to take 20,000 Syrian refugee (children) direct from refugee camps in the Middle East over a period of five years, and is relying on local authorities to find places for them. That may be with host families, but it will not be a quick process. The UK pledged to take 2,000 from those camps in 2013, and up to now we have only taken 216, so unless there is huge pressure on government to change policy, many offers of help will not be taken up.

If you want to urge the government to do more, there are a number of good petitions being circulated. Hundreds of thousands have signed up already. You can find them on change.org , 38 degrees and avaaz

People who come to the UK and claim asylum (31,000 in total last year) are given accommodation while their case is being heard. That means that there is little opportunity to accommodate them in host families, except for some unaccompanied minors, who may be placed in foster families. If you are interested in doing that, please contact your local social services for information.  Home for Good is an excellent initiative working with churches to place children in families, including refugee children.

LASSN Hosts offer accommodation to

  • asylum seekers whose claims have been refused, and who have been made homeless and destitute in the UK*, and
  • refugees (people who have had their asylum applications accepted) who have not yet been able to sort out accommodation for themselves

If you think this is something you can help with, then please complete our online application form, and let us know if you can attend attend one of our breifing sessions on

  • Thursday 24th September 6.30 – 7.30pm
  • Tuesday 29th September 6.30 – 7.30pm
  • Saturday 3rd October at 11.00 – 12.00pm

The briefing sessions will be held at our offices in town – Ebor Court, Westgate, Leeds LS1 4ND. Here’s a link to a Google Map: http://bit.ly/lassnparking  Please email Jo Carter, Grace Hosting Manager on jo@lassn.org.uk to book a place.

*In the case of refused asylum seekers, our aim is usually to provide accommodation whilst they get help to apply for financial and/or housing support or putting in a fresh claim.

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