Changes to Boaz Temporary Winter Accommodation
Every winter, we receive referrals for women who are currently facing street homelessness, or who may have stayed or currently be staying in a mixed gender night shelter.
Some of the women we have previously accommodated have told us that the only way they have previously secured somewhere to stay is in exchange for domestic work and childcare. Others have faced sexual exploitation and abuse in return for a roof over their heads.
Therefore, we have been seeking a way to offer emergency accommodation to women, in particular through the winter.
In order to address this, from October 2017 to mid-December 2017 we have piloted a women’s night shelter, mirroring the model we have successfully used for the men’s night shelter for the last 10 years.
Through this we have been able to accommodate 10 women; however through feedback from clients and referrers, it has become apparent that the night shelter has not been the best solution to the problem of destitution amongst refugee and asylum seeking women.
As a result of this, we are now transitioning from the pilot women’s night shelter to an emergency hosting scheme for women instead. We feel that emergency short term hosting over the winter might offer a more sustainable and appropriate way forward.