We have been approached by the Sussex Syrian Community (facebook group). They are looking for someone who can act as a guarantor to a refugee couple. They are working, but don’t have the social network that helps you get a house in this town. If you own your own home and have a reasonable income, please do put yourself forward. There are a few more details below. We are also on the lookout for a laptop and a smart phone. If you have one of those gathering dust in a drawer, you can make a young man very happy
One interesting quirk of the UK’s immigration system is that, if you claim asylum, then you are not allowed to work or claim what are known as “public funds”. Having no recourse to public funds does not mean that you have no access to any form of state support. It’s a bit of misnomer. There are a particular list of funds that are public ones. If you are an asylum seeker and you have absolutely nothing and you somehow manage to survive long enough for them to process your application, you might receive a tiny income and substandard housing (guardian report). However, once you are awarded your refugee status, you are entitled to work and to Social Security. That’s great. The problem is that once you have your refugee status you have a tiny amount of time to pack your bags, find somewhere else to live and get yourself an income. Finding somewhere else to live generally means finding 2 1/2 months rent in advance and a guarantor. That is difficult to do when you’ve not been working for quite some time. A certain central European writer comes to mind. In fact, the problem is so bad that the marvellous organisation, Refugees at Home, have come to specialise in providing accommodation for people caught in just this bind. They always need more hosts, so if you’ve got a spare room do get in touch with them.
If you’d like to help, are lucky enough to own your own home and have a reasonable income, then perhaps you could consider standing as guarantor. Alternatively, an obviously this is a big ask, a large one-off donation could give someone the chance to start their life afresh. Most people are going to be in that position, but do please share this call out with your social network. It is all part of building collective goodwill. Thank You.