Grace Hosting – The difference it makes

Ahmed’s Story

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 – 84 guests spent a total of 1289 nights staying in emergency accommodation – about the same number of guests as the previous year, with people staying on average 15 nights – a week longer than people did in 2014/15.
  • The number of people staying in longer stay accommodation halved to 6 (from 12) and Guests stayed a total of 1587 nights. The average length of stay increased slightly from 40 weeks to 45.
  • Between September and December 2015 we recruited and trained 27 new hosting households – making a total of 49 places that people can stay.
  • Overall, in 2015/16, Grace Hosts provided more than 2876 nights of accommodation: more than 410 weeks, or the equivalent of almost 8 years.


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