“Like Airbnb for refugees”
Room for Refugees was pioneered by Positive Action in Housing (Scottish Registered Charity No SC027577) in 2002. It is the longest-running refugee hosting scheme, run by a registered charity, in the UK or Western Europe. We pioneered the idea of refugee hosting in 2002 when the first Iraqi refugees came into our office and us they had nowhere to stay and were forbidden to work or get any kind of support. We were incredulous.
We specialise in safe refugee hosting for those facing emergency homelessness – offering a major practical resource in terms of a human and compassionate approach to supporting refugees to rebuild their lives with an unrivaled level of pastoral support – sharing what we have in the Western world.
We went “viral” in September 2015, receiving extensive coverage from newspapers and other websites. More recently the Guardian newspaper did an extensive photo essay about some of the people we host. See more press coverage here.
Many hundreds of families and individuals have so far been assisted and achieved life transforming outcomes, helping give hope to thousands more and rebuild new lives.
We are working with local authorities to quickly accommodate unaccompanied child refugees with long term loving families.
We offer bail addresses for vulnerable refugees who are indefinitely detained for no reason other than fleeing persecution.
We assist those with no recourse to public funds whose chances of resolution would improve by being sheltered so that their caseworkers can proactively help resolve their legal or housing situation.
We are working to fast track people out of destitution or insecure housing and put them back on the road to rebuilding their lives, getting work or qualified in order to become net contributors to our community. Working in partnership with over 300 non-profit organisations and agencies like the British Red Cross, Freedom from Torture, and Shelter from the Storm, this model can bypass red tape and bureaucracy to ensure vulnerable people without recourse to funds can find hope and resolution.
We are building links with refugee organisations across the globe, and are accepting registration from potential refugee hosts in Scotland , England, Ireland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Western Europe. We would also encourage potential hosts in Canada and the USA to register with us as we can then build links with refugee organisations in those areas – please email us for more information.
Our successful placements give a level of pastoral support and community involvement that is life transforming. Those seeking shelter can find long term resolution, create bonds of friendship and interact on so many human levels with those who have room to spare.
If you want to be part of the Room for Refugees network and want to offer temporary shelter to an individual or a family while they get their lives back on track, please register or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a chat.