This summer marks our 20th anniversary. In June 2004 our founder, Dave Smith, and a group of friends gathered together in what would be our first ever trustees meeting. A year on from that meeting, the Boaz Trust became a registered charity.

In the beginning

What began as a small way to respond to the accommodation needs that Dave witnessed among people seeking asylum in Manchester when we were gifted a property, has grown over the years to include a hosting scheme, an emergency winter night shelter and shared houses – both for people who have been refused asylum and those with refugee status. Recognising the deeply negative impact that being in the asylum system has on a person, our work also includes holistic, person-centred and trauma-informed support from a dedicated support worker.

We are still here

In so many ways there is little to celebrate about the fact that we are still here, some twenty years after our founding. We wish that there was not a need for our existence and that we could have seen an end to asylum destitution before now. Yet at the same time, we are proud of the work that has been done and thankful for the lives that have been impacted over the past twenty years through our housing and support.

While accommodation and support are at the heart of what we have done at Boaz during the last twenty years, so too is our desire to challenge and change the unjust systems that cause people to experience destitution in the first place. As our advocacy work has developed in recent years, we’ve engaged more in campaigning, media work, research and new partnerships with key decision-makers and gatekeepers.

For example, the sharp rise in homelessness among newly granted refugees from autumn 2023 onwards has led to the development of our new Refugee Homelessness Prevention Project, delivered in partnership with GMCA (Greater Manchester Combined Authority), MDF (Migrant Destitution Fund) and Refugee Action. 

The slow violence inflicted on people because of their immigration status has led to our floating support work developing into the Restricted Eligibility Support Service, which is delivered in partnership with the Booth Centre and GMIAU (Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit).

An ever more hostile environment

The ever-changing, and increasingly hostile, nature of the policy environment in which we operate has meant that there have constantly been fresh injustices or new legislation that we have felt compelled to speak out against. This has also led us into new activities and projects as we’ve responded practically.

It is clear that we live with a lot of uncertainty and suffering in our world, and that the challenges of today and of the future will require us to show the same compassion, tenacity and faith in the belief that things can be different that compelled Dave and his friends to respond to the injustices that they witnessed twenty years ago. 

As we mark our anniversary year over the course of the next 12 months, keep an eye out for ways you can get involved. Looking to the future, we'd love for you to be part of seeing our vision become more of a reality so that people who seek safety in the UK are welcomed here and free to live life in all its fullness.

The Boaz Trust is registered in England and Wales under charity number 1110344 at Kath Locke Centre, 123 Moss Lane East, Manchester M15 5DD. We use cookies to improve your experience using this website.
Log in | Powered by White Fuse