Ahmed is a 24 year old man who fled from his home country of Eritrea. He came to the UK as an unaccompanied minor. Ahmed is a destitute asylum seeker who is waiting to submit a fresh claim.
Ahmed was first referred to Grace in August 2015. He was new to Leeds and did not know anybody.
He was hosted in short stay accommodation on a night to night basis although there were times when no Hosts were available and Ahmed had to sleep in the bus station.
Ahmed has shared how hard night to night hosting is as it means that you are constantly in survival mode, not knowing if you have a safe place to sleep and food to eat. He also felt very low at times and isolated.
Since January 2016 Ahmed has been in a longer stay placement with a Host family. The impact of this has been immense. Ahmed lives with and copes with the trauma that made him flee from his home country as well as continued uncertainty over his Asylum claim. However he tells us how happy and safe he feels in a longer stay placement and feels like he has become part of the host’s family. His mental health has improved greatly and he has joined a football team.
Ahmed volunteers for three charitable organisations and the gym and has qualified as a gym instructor and lifeguard. He is studying maths and English at a local college. He no longer feels isolated and has many friends.
And this lovely comment on Facebook…
Achievements in 2016/17
- In 2016/17, 71 guests spent a total of 1,476 nights staying in emergency accommodation, staying with 51 different hosting households.
- The average length of stay in emergency Hosting increased from 15 nights to 21 – reflecting the difficulties an increasing number of people experience accessing Home Office (Section 4) support.
- The number of longer stay guests rose from 5 in 2015/16 to 18 in 2016/17.
- Longer stay guests stayed a total of 2,802 nights, with the average length of stay falling from 45 weeks to 22.This drop reflects the number of people who have successfully moved on to alternative accommodation – usually after being offered Home Office accommodation – although it is worth noting that only 1 of the 5 people in 2015/16 has moved on in 2016/17.
- Overall, in 2016/17 Grace hosts provided 4278 nights of accommodation: the equivalent of more than 11 years