The Latest News From Boaz!
This is our latest news!
Even though we are in the summer holiday season, here at Boaz we continue to see new people referred to us who have become homeless following the refusal of their asylum claim. We also are receiving referrals for people who have been granted refugee status but have become homeless once their asylum support has come to an end.
The accommodation options available for both these groups are so limited. Our client support team have been busy meeting with some of the most vulnerable individuals from among the recent referrals, and we continue accommodate new clients in our shared houses.
It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed by the need, but we recognise that even though we can’t do everything, the little that we are able to do can make a huge difference to individuals like Punki*:
“I remember a time when I slept at the coach station here in Manchester, and another night in the train station – I had nowhere safe to go. Without Boaz, I would be destitute – it makes me cry every time I remember it.”
(*Punki asked us to use this name instead of her real name.)
Free Shop – an update and feedback
When clients move on from Boaz, we always try to do an exit interview, so that we can learn from what has gone well, but also where we could have done better. We use their feedback to help us improve our services. It’s eye opening to hear how often our monthly Free Shop is mentioned by clients as something they have particularly appreciated during their time with Boaz. Here is just a sample of some of the feedback we’ve received:
“We are made comfortable by Boaz. The Free Shop is very important.” (C, DRC)
“Boaz has given me food at the Free Shop, a roof over my head, and connected me to lots of people.” (E, Gambia)
“Boaz have made a big difference. Firstly, they found me a place to live that became like home. Once a month, we have the Free Shop with food which is very helpful.” (A, Ethiopia)
People who have had their asylum claims refused aren’t eligible for benefits and they can’t work. They are left to survive on nothing, so our monthly Free Shop really is vital.
There are two easy ways you can help us stock our Free Shop, so that we can continue to offer this vital support to our clients:
Donate items of food and toiletries. Store cupboard essentials are always appreciated (basmati rice, tea, coffee, sugar, tinned tomatoes, long life fruit juices…). You might just pop a couple of extra items in your weekly shop and drop them off at the office, or perhaps you could set up a one off or regular collection box at your school, church or office.
Donate money to our Free Shop fund so that we can buy fresh fruit and vegetables each month on Free Shop day! We don’t have the storage space to keep stocks of fresh food available, so it’s great to have the funds available so that we can arrange a fresh food delivery each month.
New hosting toolkit launched!
“[Our Boaz hosts] became like friends, like sisters – they opened their hearts as well as their house to us.” O and N, Libya.
Back in 2006, Boaz founder, Dave Smith, initiated an informal network of like-minded organisations from across the UK, who were seeking to provide accommodation to asylum seekers and other migrants who had become homeless. Over the years this has grown into NACCOM- a national network with over 40 full member organisations. This summer, NACCOM has launched a new hosting toolkit, which is a practical how-to guide for anyone who wants to set up a hosting scheme, offering spare rooms to destitute migrants from different backgrounds.
We think the toolkit is a much needed and fantastic resource (and not just because we feature in it along with some of our wonderful NACCOM friends!). Hosting is a fundamental part of our work here at Boaz, and it’s so encouraging to see new hosting projects developing around the UK.
Finally: will you stand with us so that we can do more, together, to end destitution?
As we mentioned at the beginning of this update, our waiting list is continuing to grow, both for refugees and also those who have had their asylum claims refused. Throughout the rest of the summer and into the autumn, we’ll continue to make progress on our two newest Boaz houses, and we’ll also keep pressing on with plans for our women’s night shelter, due to launch in October. We are also expanding our client support team over the next few months, in order to give more focused 1:1 support not just to our asylum seeking clients but also to those who have been granted refugee status and are now living in one of our refugee houses.
Please could you consider setting up a monthly gift to our vital work with people who have fled persecution and been left with nothing?
Your regular gift of £5 each month could pay for a one day bus ticket for a client to come to our monthly Free Shop or to attend a vital legal or medical appointment.
Your regular gift of £10 a month could contribute towards the weekly food allowance we give to clients who are not eligible to receive any other financial support.
Your regular gift of £25 a month could buy new bedding for new clients moving from the streets into a Boaz house.
If you have any questions about giving to Boaz, or would like to chat to us about how you can support us in different ways, please drop our fundraiser Tim a line on 0161 202 1056, or email him on firstname.lastname@example.org There’s more information about our fundraising commitment to our supporters on our website along with some supporter FAQs.