People who are refused asylum and, as a result, are made destitute feel dehumanised and degraded by the experience. We aim to give them the resources, support and dignity they deserve.
We focus our resources on the things we know people need the most:
We provide a safe place to sleep
Giving me a place to stay is the most important thing ASSIST does for me. Knowing I won’t have to sleep on the streets is the biggest relief of all.” Mohammed, ASSIST client
ASSIST works to ensure that nobody who is seeking asylum has to sleep on the streets of our city after their asylum case has been disbelieved.
We provide three types of accommodation:
- emergency accommodation
- temporary accommodation with host families
- dedicated houses donated or loaned to us for accommodating people we support
Imagine if a young adult in your family hit a crisis in their life and had no money and nowhere to sleep...you’d want to know there was someone who would reach out to help them.” Cath Baldwin, ASSIST Supporter
We provide people who are destitute with a small amount of money
My mother came to the UK as a refugee so I know how bad things have to be at home for someone to have to escape and I know how much support people need when they get here. Even when the process works well refugees often struggle to find their feet but the people supported by ASSIST have had a tougher time than most. I'm an artist and ASSIST were looking for someone to run art sessions so it felt like the right voluntary job for me." Carmel Page, ASSIST Volunteer
We give people who have been refused asylum, and who have no other income, a small weekly welfare payment. This means that they can buy small items they need the most, such as toiletries, or make some contribution to the household where they are staying, Sometimes we replace part of the payment with a free bus pass so they can travel to attend vital medical, legal and Home Office appointments.
We help people to survive and integrate
At our weekly Help Desk our first priority is to meet immediate and basic human needs. We make referrals to our emergency accommodation, issue emergency payments and food vouchers, and direct clients to food banks, clothing banks and sources of medical help.
We provide information on places where people who are seeking asylum can spend their time, meet other people, learn English and more. We work with them so they can become part of the Sheffield community, overcome isolation and improve their situation and well-being.
We give longer term assistance by working with clients to pursue their asylum claim through our support service.
We shout about asylum destitution
We work hard to get the voices of people seeking asylum heard in Sheffield, and to get their needs recognised.
We run events, give talks, run stalls at local fairs and festivals, and work hand-in-hand with other local organisations to build on Sheffield’s track record as a welcoming city, a City of Sanctuary. We are proud to be part of a city which stands up for the rights of everyone who lives here, no matter where they come from.
It’s just not fair that people who have been through the trauma of having to flee their own country should then be made to live a life of homelessness and destitution in Sheffield. That’s why I support ASSIST...they let people know about asylum destitution and they do something about it.” Rachel Smith, ASSIST supporter