'I feel safe at last'
In 2016 the Refugee Council was celebrated at the London Homelessness Awards for supporting refugees who, after being granted protection in the UK, find themselves homeless. This is the story of Jackson*, a refugee from Nigeria who we helped to find a home.
I was granted refugee status in June of this year. Then the Home Office told me I had to leave my asylum accommodation within a month. I had nowhere to go.
I ended up sleeping at a night shelter but I found it a scary place; there were lots of assaults there and I didn’t feel safe. I didn’t even have anywhere to put my things. I began sleeping on buses instead because it made me feel safer. And at least it was dry.
I was searching online for somewhere to get some help when I found the Refugee Council. When I met Adonis, the project worker, I was crying. At that point things were so bad I didn’t think I was going to survive. Adonis heard my story he promised to help me but said it may take some time.
Adonis stuck to his word and helped me; a week later he called me to tell me he’d found me a flat. I went into the office and he talked me through the tenancy agreement and what my rights and responsibilities were.
I’m so happy now: I’ve got a job and I’m going to do a PhD in Business Administration. Without a house, none of that would’ve been possible.
I wouldn’t wish anyone else to go through what I’ve been through; it was very traumatic and everything was hard. I didn’t know anyone in this country and I had no one to help me.
But then I met Adonis and everything changed.
Now I’ve got somewhere to live; somewhere to put my bag, somewhere to have a shower. I’m happy and I feel safe.
*Name has been changed