When I arrived in the UK, I declared myself at the airport. I took my shirt off to show them where I had been tortured in prison - the prison officer would put hot plates on my back. I remember the person who interviewed me cried when he saw the damage.

I got a job and then my documents went missing and the Home Office said I was illegal.  I lost my job and my home.

Being homeless is a very bad stigma. You are in a bus, you think everyone is looking at you because you’re homeless. You don’t have anything. Homelessness is one of the worst things that can ever happen to someone. It happens to lots of asylums seekers and refugees. Unless you’ve been homeless, you will never understand. It’s one of the hardest things you can ever go through.

I started going to Refugee Council, I explained my problems and they said I had to get some of my documents to prove that I was not illegal. Refugee Council supported me throughout. Eventually they found a hostel for me.  When I got my status, they didn’t just leave me. They supported me and organised for me to get a more secure place to live.

Now I have a first-class law degree and I am a level 1 immigration adviser.

The Refugee Council was always there for me, always.

 

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    Allen’s story
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