One of the barriers facing survivors of modern slavery in the UK is finding safe and suitable accommodation. Survivors leaving the safe house can often be left vulnerable to homelessness, destitution or re-exploitation. This might be because they can’t work in the UK, are unable to claim certain benefits or aren’t entitled to statutory housing. Without a stable home, it is very difficult to access support or focus on recovery. Survivors are left to fall between the gaps, which often exacerbates existing mental health issues, isolation, trauma and debt.
The Snowdrop Project and Hope at Home have developed an exciting partnership to stand in this gap.
Jared and Helen Hodgson, Hope at Home Co-Founders, became aware that modern slavery still existed on a trip to India with their family. On returning home they discovered that, not only is slavery rife in the UK, but that survivors are often left destitute and open to being re-trafficked. They decided that, like William Wilberforce, they simply could not ‘look away’ and so opened their home to survivors thus beginning the small seed of Hope at Home.
Several years later, Hope at Home now provides a hosting scheme across the UK for survivors unable to find access to other housing. Through training and support, Hope at Home facilitates placements between hosts and survivors designed to promote recovery and independence, and prevent survivors ending up in unsuitable accommodation or homeless. This scheme offers a stable and supportive home environment, giving them the opportunity to breathe out and focus on their recovery. We know that long-term professional support makes a huge difference, so survivors are also offered one-to-one support from the Snowdrop Project’s highly trained team of staff and volunteers.
This tailor-made support coupled with a stable home gives an ideal platform on which survivors can begin to rebuild their lives.
For more information about Hope at Home, visit www.hopeathome.org.uk or attend the Hope at Home information evening on Tuesday 20th November 7-9pm at The Printhouse, 21-23 North Church Street, Sheffield, S1 2DH.