When someone claims asylum, if they have no money and nowhere to go they are housed by the Government while their claim for protection is assessed. However, when a refugee is granted asylum, they are given just 28 days to find somewhere new to live before the Government evicts them from their asylum accommodation.
As our new research report reveals, many newly recognised refugees promptly find themselves facing homelessness and destitution. Ahmad was one of them. Here is his story.
Ahmad is originally from Syria, where he studied English Language and Literature.
He was forced to flee the Syrian conflict; initially seeking safety in Iraq until the worsening security situation there forced him to seek refuge elsewhere. Ahmad arrived in the UK 10 months ago and was granted refugee status late last year.
Like many refugees, delays with his paperwork left Ahmad facing homelessness when he was evicted from his asylum accommodation.
Ahmad said: “The most difficult period after I was granted asylum in the UK was when I was asked to leave my accommodation; I was given 28 days notice to leave my place and I hadn’t yet received my National Insurance Number.
“I had to call some friends and finally I managed to find an organisation called Refugees at Home; they offered to host me and place me with a family ‘til I was able to get on my feet. I’ve spent five months living with a family without paying any rent. This helped me save some money and get all my paper work done so I’m more able to find somewhere to rent.
“This transitional period is absolutely crucial for refugees – they can easily become homeless and as a result find themselves in danger of being exploited. It’s really important that refugees receive the help they need during this time.”
You can help forgotten refugees like Ahmad by: