Over the last 16 years, over a thousand people have stayed in Boaz’s accommodation. At many points over the years our clients have told us that this is so much more than just a bed in a room – it is a safe place to stay, a sanctuary and also a launchpad from which people can make real progress in moving on from destitution.
This week, we were delighted to move in one of our former night shelter guests, Ali*. When COVID-19 forced us to close our night shelter early at the end of March, the remaining guests were offered accommodation by the local council. Boaz staff and volunteers continued to provide support, from daily meal deliveries to checking in with solicitors and arranging medical appointments. We always knew this accommodation wouldn't be permanent, and so we've been working hard to try and support as many of the men as possible to move on into longer term accommodation.
One of our team members, Vron, takes up the story:
“This week’s move in has in many ways been a long time coming; we’ve been working with Ali in different ways since last Autumn when he was first referred to and stayed in our night shelter. So it was particularly nice to be able to move him into his own room and to provide him with some stability after such a long period of accessing different forms of emergency accommodation, both with us and with other partner organisations.
Most recently he has been staying at another hostel, who we have been working closely with. A taxi was arranged to collect him, and we met him at our house. We were able to spend a good amount of time on the phone with a fantastic interpreter who helped us with going through what it means to be in a Boaz house and what the next steps are in terms of accessing the support he needs in different areas.
It was really pleasing to see him so happy with his new room and to see him connecting with others who are staying in the house, who really went out of their way to make him feel welcome on the day. Having spent a good amount of time working with Ali over the last 8 months, I know that being in this house will make such a big difference to him and will make it much easier for him to access the support he needs to move forward with his life.”
This is just one story, but it shows the time, effort and teamwork that goes in to accommodating and supporting our clients. As ever we are so grateful for all of the fantastic organisations that we are able to work alongside across Manchester and beyond, as we aim to end destitution and homelessness amongst refugees and people seeking asylum. In the coming months, we are looking forward to providing more safe places to stay and the real difference that will make to people’s lives.
*We've changed Ali's name to maintain confidentiality.