What's the problem we're trying to solve?
The UK government’s asylum policy is forcing thousands of asylum seekers across the UK into destitution. Destitute asylum seekers are forbidden access to public housing or homeless accommodation. They are forbidden to work. They may be unable to return to their countries of origin for fear of persecution or worse.
Glasgow has the largest refugee population after London.
Positive Action in Housing's Lifeline Project was set up in 2004.
In 2013, we provided food, temporary shelter and practical advice and support to 237 destitute people including 4 adult dependents, 9 children and 3 unborn children who were forced into destitution because of the UK Government’s policy towards appeals rights exhausted asylum seekers.
We gave out emergency payments of over £26,000 and assisted destitute asylum seekers from 35 countries.
We provided 530 nights of emergency shelter (through our volunteers and hostels). We also sign-posted destitute asylum seekers to a night shelter based in a Glasgow church.
Two thirds of those helped were “additionally vulnerable”: the elderly, children, pregnant women, young women under the age of 25, those with mental or physical health problems, survivors of trauma, for example, torture, sex trafficking or domestic violence.
Why do we care about this project?
Because the Lifeline Project provides humanitarian aid to destitute refugees and migrants in Glasgow. It makes a big difference to individual lives, and gives vulnerable people a small window of time to work out their legal and future options in a place of safety without the constant pressure of daily survival.
The overall aim is to lift people out of destitution and assist them to gain a resolution of their status, whether by overturning bad decisions or seeking reviews or negotiating return.
Our volunteers take destitute asylum seekers into their own homes. It could be for a couple of nights, a week, or several months.
We run an Emergency Hardship Fund which gives out a total of £2,000 or more each month in crisis payments.
We assist service users to find good legal support. We also take up casework and signpost service users to other support agencies, where relevant.
As well as running weekly surgeries for destitute asylum seekers, we run the Annual Winter Destitution Surgery. This is to make sure people have access to food, shelter and crisis payments over Christmas and New Year when most services close down. During Winter, the need for warmth, shelter and at least one meal a day is crucial. We take referrals from all known agencies, Social Work, Hospitals, GPs, the Police, voluntary organisations, refugee agencies and community groups. The Winter Destitution Surgery also flags up particularly vulnerable people who may need on-going support from the project.
How can I help Make a difference?
Any donation you give, no matter how modest, is enormously appreciated. ALL funds will go directly towards providing humanitarian relief to service users.
1. You can make a one off donation now at this page (Remember to tick the box to ensure your donation is “gift aided”, thus adding an extra 25% if you’re a UK taxpayer).
2. Please set up a regular payment (standing order) via internet banking to pay Positive Action in Housing Ltd (SC027577) | Sort code 82 20 00 Account number 00447398
3. Alternatively, donate by SMS: just text the code PAIH99 and the amount you want to give (eg £10) to 70070.
Thank you for supporting this appeal.
The human stories
In March 2010, a Russian family of three, the Sehryks, jumped to their deaths from a high rise building in North Glasgow after being told they had to leave their accommodation, could not work or claim any form of state support. Mr Serhyk was formerly a senior ranking official in the Russian military and was said to have a history of mental health problems, which the UK Border Agency was aware of. Their tragic story highlighted the need to offer a lifeline to those who are left absolutely destitute.
58 year old Josephine from Somalia is frail and unwell. She is seeking asylum but has had no support for 6 months. She was referred to Positive Action in Housing for a crisis grant, and used the money to buy food and a bus pass for essential travel. We also helped Josephine to pursue her asylum claim and access emergency accommodation
26 year old Aisha is a Pakistani asylum seeker. She is living in accommodation but has received no support for 7 months. She is also malnourished. She heard about Positive Action in Housing and approached our caseworkers for help. We were able to provide a crisis grant and a small weekly payment for a few weeks to help her buy food and a bus pass for essential travel. We also helped Josephine to pursue her asylum claim and access emergency accommodation.
57 year old Mr Chen is seeking asylum. He has a serious heart condition and recently lost his accommodation after being turned down for leave to remain. He applied for “Section 4” support but has still not been given emergency accommodation while he awaits a decision on his asylum appeal from his solicitor. A friend, also an asylum seeker, allowed Mr Chen was to sleep in his accommodation temporarily and he has now had to leave. Mr Chen slept rough at a Glasgow Bus Station the night before visiting caseworkers Positive Action in Housing. We arranged a crisis payment and essential travel for hospital appointments. We also found a volunteer who offered a free room for two to three weeks until he received support.
30 year old Patrick has been waiting for 18 months for a decision on his asylum claim. At present he sleeps on the floor of someone's flat. He was referred to a GP because of his ill appearance; the GP said he was, in fact, starving, as a result of being destitute. He was referred for a crisis grant to Positive Action in Housing with which he was able to buy food and a bus pass for essential travel.
Positive Action in Housing Ltd
Scottish Registered Charity SC027577
Registered office: 98 West George Street Glasgow G2 1PJ
A small, black and minority ethnic homelessness charity which runs a hardship fund and free, emergency shelter for destitute people seeking asylum.