Pathways out of destitution for migrant women (Praxis)

Praxis Community Projects is one of twenty nine charities from across England, working with women who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, that has been awarded a grant from Homeless Link’s Ending Women’s Homelessness grants programme, funded by the Government’s Tampon Tax Fund.

Thousands of migrant women across the UK experience homelessness and an increased vulnerability to domestic violence and exploitation as a result of not having Recourse to Public Funds. Building on the success of our advice service, which prevents homelessness for hundreds of migrant women at risk, and our Housing Project, winner of the 2019 Homeless Link Innovation awards, we wish to develop this new multi-faced project, which will provide access to immigration advice to 60 migrant women at risk of homelessness, enabling to regularize their immigration status and identify pathways out of destitution. The project will include two bed spaces for NRPF destitute women as well as access to peer support groups, bringing women together to develop resilience and support networks. This holistic support package will allow migrant women at risk to avoid destitution, gain access to services, be able to plan their futures and move on with their lives.

Women with NRPF are more likely to be numbered among hidden homelessness, because they often take significant personal risks to avoid rough sleeping. Data from our own services shows that approximately 90% of NRPF clients seeking our services are vulnerable women. Lack of interpreters, lack of information about the UK Immigration system, and a justifiable fear of detention are daily barriers that women with NRPF face to accessing even free advice and homelessness services. We know from our casework that there are possibilities for improving outcomes for women with NRPF but this requires a holistic intervention and specialist legal advice.

"We are extremely grateful to Homeless Link for this grant, which will help us support migrant women facing homelessness and destitution in London. Thanks to their support, we will be able to offer migrant women at risk with the advice needed to secure their immigration status, as well as housing and holistic support. We will provide safe accommodation through our award winning housing project, which for years has offered migrant women in London and their children the opportunity to stock up, solve their issues and happily move on to the next stages of their lives."