A programme funded by the GLA and managed by Homeless Link
Funded by the GLA and managed by Homeless Link, the Immigration Advice for Rough Sleepers Fund delivered seven projects across London to better integrate homelessness and immigration services. The seven grantees and their partners included:
- Depaul UK partnering with Cardinal Hume Centre, New Horizon
- Lewisham Refugee and Migrant Network partnering with Bench Outreach
- Micro Rainbow partnering with Wesley Gryk Solicitors
- NEWway Project partnering with Caritas Anchor House, Renewal Project
- South London Refugee Association partnering with Ace of Clubs, Thames Reach Croydon, Crisis Croydon, Glassdoor (although only SLRA received direct funding)
- St Mungo’s partnering with Praxis
- Thames Reach partnering with Tower Hamlets Law Centre, Hammersmith and Fulham Law Centre
Micro Rainbow’s IARSF project provided specialist legal advice to LGBTQ+ migrant rough sleepers. Referrals were taken from specialist organisations such as Stonewall Housing, Albert Kennedy Trust and Rainbow Migration. Their IARSF funded Level 1 OISC Advisor provided immediate advice and more complex cases were referred to partners Wesley Gryk Solicitors and other legal aid firms.
The IARSF funded an Immigration Navigator, accredited to OISC Level 1, who took referrals from internal Thames Reach Outreach Teams. Simple immigration issues could be solved by the Immigration Navigator, and any cases that could not be progressed were passed to partners at Tower Hamlets Law Centre and Hammersmith and Fulham Law Centre.
South London Refugee Association
SLRA were funded to establish working partnerships with local homelessness service providers such as Glass Door, Ace of Clubs, Croydon Crisis and Thames Reach Croydon. Their IARSF OISC Level 3 advisors provided assessment and casework. The partnerships they established allowed them to provide holistic services.
Lewisham Refugee and Migrant Network
LRMN partnered with Bench Outreach to take referrals from across southeast London. Bench made referrals through their IARSF funded Immigration lead Worker and LRMN provided immigration advice through an IARSF funded OISC Level 3 advisor. Both LRMN and Bench were also able to provide holistic services to clients.
Working out of the Youth Homelessness Accommodation Hub, a pan-London emergency hotel for young people, Depaul UK and New Horizons Youth Centre referred clients to an immigration solicitor at Cardinal Hume Centre. Wrap around support was provided by Depaul and New Horizons Youth through the Hub.
Clients accessing the No Recourse to Public Funds bedspaces at the GLA’s COVID-19 response hotel were referred via St Mungo’s IARSF funded Immigration Link Worker. They were referred to IARSF funded advice or to St Mungo’s Street Legal team. An Immigration Advisormwas able to provide assessment, casework and onward referral.
NEWway were funded, alongside the Renewal Project and Caritas Anchor House, to provide free immigration advice to rough sleepers in the Borough of Newham. Referrals were made to a solicitor at The Renewal Project, who was also able to attend NEWway’s day centre once a week to provide assessment and casework.
Resources on Immigration Advice
Challenges when commissioning of NRPF services – both immigration advice and housing
This session considers the challenges and opportunities for Commissioners looking to address local needs with the migrant sector. It explores the national context in relation to the Rough Sleeping Strategy, highlights innovative commissioning taking place by the Greater London Authority and looks at the commissioning journey undertaken by Newcastle City Council over a number of years in relation to asylum.
Working with refugees and people seeking asylum
Practical guidance for supporting people before and after receiving refugee status.
Briefing: Facing up to homelessness among non-UK nationals
Publications and resources from the Homeless Link and NACCOM project, Finding local solutions to non-UK national homelessness.