Many people risk becoming destitute when they are granted refugee status and they are forced to leave their asylum support accommodation in a very short timeframe. NERS manages 20 properties in Newcastle in which vulnerable refugees are accommodated, helping them to live independently and escape destitution. This is the case of M, a young person who was made homeless as he was unable to independently find accommodation.
M was referred to our supported housing scheme, where we accommodated him in one of our flats. At that time, he was very distressed and worried about his future and his first concern was to secure a safe place to live.
The housing team supported M to apply for his benefits, secure his tenancy, set up his utilities and access health services. Once M’s situation was stabilised, NERS’ started working with him on an action plan to help him achieve his personal goals.
M had been working hard towards gaining a place at university: he was studying for his A-levels since he arrived in the UK and was waiting for the clearing process to know if he had been successful. His stay in NERS’ supported accommodation removed the threat of homelessness from his life, and enabled him to focus on completing his A-level studies and making university applications for a degree in science.
With this in mind, M was assisted in setting up everything that living independently and managing a household entails; and when the time came for getting his A level results, M was successful and he was accepted in the science degree of his choice.
As a supported service, NERS then helped him to apply for his student finance, accommodation and hardship funds to ensure that he did not miss out on his university place due to having a low income and having no family support.
M has now moved on into a student accommodation and is excited about his future. On moving on from our service, M told us: “When I was granted my refugee status, I didn’t have anywhere to go. I was waiting for my A-level results to start my university studies. If not for the NERS Housing Team, I would have been homeless, sleeping rough on the streets…and that would have made me live in stress and uncertainty and would have made it difficult or almost impossible for me to complete my UCAS application. NERS supported me to apply for my course and for a student finance loan and helped me to make the transition to live as a university student.”