Roundabout supports Refugees at Home accommodation plea

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South Yorkshire youth homelessness charity Roundabout is working with national organisation Refugees at Home in a bid to prevent a crisis for the region’s young asylum seekers.

The Government’s plan to clear the asylum backlog means that approximately 700 people in Sheffield are expecting decisions on their asylum status before Christmas - a decision that means being evicted from their asylum accommodation and being given as little as seven days to find a new place to live.

Refugees at Home is a charity which connects householders with a spare room in their home to refugees and asylum seekers in need of somewhere to stay free of charge.

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And Roundabout, which has already seen an increase in the number of asylum seekers under the age of 25 seeking their support, has joined the plea for more people to join the project.

Jonny Edwards of RoundaboutJonny Edwards of Roundabout
Jonny Edwards of Roundabout

“If you are 25 or under and you are facing homelessness, it doesn’t matter what your background is because Roundabout is here simply to support all vulnerable young people and, over the years, we have supported many young people who have had either refugee or asylum seeker status,” said Roundabout Homeless Prevention Service manager Jonny Edwards.

“Once somebody has been granted refugee status, they would in the past have had 28 days to find themselves somewhere appropriate to live but the change in legislation means they’ll now have seven days and that’s not enough time.

“It’s such a short period and one that leaves them facing the prospect of becoming homeless.

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“Roundabout has seen a big increase in numbers in the past two months and it does put a lot of pressure on us as an organisation because we do have more people through the door and we are doing all we can to refer them in the right direction.

“A charity like Refugees at Home can offer a solution but they do need more people to take part and offer the possibility of a some security at this most difficult time of the year for anybody facing homelessness.”

Paul Harvey, head of Volunteering at Voluntary Action Sheffield, added: “We’re seeing a huge increase of refugees needing accommodation at a point when the council housing team are already overwhelmed due to winter pressures and a severe shortage of council and private rented accommodation available quickly to people on benefits.

“We are expecting this to continue after Christmas and into the new year and this is causing significant stress and anxiety to people who have already been through traumas in their home countries, been forced to flee and seek sanctuary in the UK and now face homelessness in winter.

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“The issue is huge and as a city we do not have enough accommodation to meet need, but there is an opportunity for individuals to play a part in helping some of the people in need through hosting refugees on an interim basis whilst they apply for longer term accommodation.”

Paul added that another organisation supporting refugees in the region was Nomad , the charity that aims to improve access to decent, affordable housing while helping people to transition out of homelessness.

Nomad currently has a project that is supporting people at risk of homelessness to move in to shared houses - and 75 per cent of its clients are newly granted refugees.

“City of Sanctuary, the independent charity working in solidarity with people seeking sanctuary in Sheffield, are referring refugees to Nomad and it’s a partnership that is working well,” Paul said.

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“They too, though, need more properties as demand is increasing and all properties are currently full.

“If socially minded landlords want to let properties to refugees, then they can contact Nomad, whose agency Four Trees Lettings Agency, will manage the tenancies.

For more information of Refugees at Home visit

For more on Roundabout and its full range of services visit

For more on Nomad call 0114 321 0262.