Asylum seekers are often the bottom of the pile when it comes to support and sympathy.
Each person has their own story of how and why they have made the difficult decision to leave their home and maybe their entire family, to make a long, often terrifying and dangerous journey to another country. They are frequently traumatised, bewildered and confused by the hostile reception they get from the Home Office, when they finally get to the UK.
They are people like us, who had a home, a job, a normal life and a simple wish to continue living in peace. War, persecution and discrimination are common reasons for their need to escape, sometimes to save their lives. The choice is not made lightly, and their hope is to rebuild a life somewhere free from persecution and conflict. Sadly, they are likely to find the UK a less welcoming place than they hoped and have the added issues of language, isolation, poverty and unemployment to deal with.
Asylum seekers will initially be given Home Office support if their case is thought to be worthy of consideration. If their case is turned down after further consideration, they will then be left destitute, with no recourse to public funds and no accommodation. This can happen very quickly, leaving them street homeless.
One of the most distressing problems for destitute asylum seekers is lack of shelter. They rely on charities to find them accommodation of some sort and, of course, anything is better than being on the streets and vulnerable.Continue reading “Dignity in Destitution”