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Supporting people with no recourse to public funds (NRPF)

One of our current priority projects is to try and help people experiencing homelessness who have lost or don’t have access to state-funded benefits and housing, and is a last resort to help them move on from the trauma of homelessness. This project aims to support these people to lead productive lives in Oxfordshire. 

Syrian man

The issue

Oxfordshire has cutting-edge support services for people experiencing homelessness, both through local councils and an extremely dedicated charity sector. However, there is a group of around 20 people currently experiencing homelessness locally who cannot access any state-funded support, putting them under unimaginable pressure.

People in this situation are often not allowed to work; neither are they eligible for benefits, nor allowed to use public services except for basic health care. This leaves them at high risk of abuse and exploitation.

The solution

OHM has brought together three experienced local partners to address this unmet need, offering hope to people who really are at breaking point.

Longstanding local charities Aspire, Asylum Welcome and Connection Support are offering dignified housing, advice and advocacy to resolve any legal issues, and personalised assistance to help people overcome the complex issues that led to them becoming homeless. 

Local housing association Soha has stepped up to provide 12 beds at a peppercorn rent. Additionally, we have also partnered with Edge Housing who are providing a further three beds and support. 

Thanks to the generosity of private donors, and the housing provided by Soha and Edge, we are on track to reach our objective of housing and supporting the entire cohort of 20 people. 

Anyone of our guests now has the opportunity to make a new beginning, preparing for work and to be a part of the community again. 

One of the people housed and supported is Massod. He will be the first person to move on from the project because he has now been granted Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK. He says, "Since I have been offered accommodation I feel more relaxed despite having multiple health conditions. I appreciate very much the room I have been given, the bus pass and pocket money I have been receiving, it’s making my life much easier and I don’t have to worry how to travel to my doctors and hospital appointments. I have enough money to feed myself properly, which I haven’t had for a long time. I now have a sense of freedom. I have now got ID meaning that, when people ask me, I can show them who I am and what immigration status I have. I am happy and I have hope that I can and will be able to see my family one day. I hope I can bring my wife to the UK to live with me and look after me as I need her to be close to me as I have many health issues. I need her near to me as I miss her a lot.”

Next steps

OHM is now looking for donations and further properties at a peppercorn rent in order to provide homes and support to people who have been denied a home due to their legal status.

To find out more about the principles, partners and governance for this project, please download the two-page summary, the full NRPF project prospectus or take a peek at our webinar on the topic.

If you would like to talk to us on this project please email hello@oxfordshirehomelessmovement.org