Jesuit Refugee Service
Out in the Cold

This report reveals reveal the reality of refugees living with destitution. It describes the patterns of homelessness amongst the destitute refugees served by the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), in their own words. The report uncovers a pervasive homelessness, a destitution which is a deliberate aim of government policy, targeting those who are often already vulnerable as a result of situations that brought them to the UK in the first place. 

Key findings of the survey include a perpetual vulnerability to street homelessness. Any accommodation available is described as insecure, inadequate and unsafe. In addition they live in total uncertainty, fearing  detention, and in some cases, removal into even greater danger. Destitute refugees are often wholly dependent on the hospitality of others, left feeling like an unwelcome burden. A repeated, unsolicited, theme in the report was a desire to contribute to community and the explicit desire to be treated as human beings.

Recommendations include giving all seeking asylum the right to work, providing asylum seekers unable to support themselves through work with basic financial support, and abandoning the hostile environment agenda which dehumanises and fosters a cruel society that spreads beyond its immediate targets.