Being refused asylum, and becoming destitute can be dehumanising and degrading. We aim to give asylum seekers 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 no asylum seeker has to sleep on the streets of our city after their asylum case has been disbelieved.
We provide three types of accommodation:
- makeshift beds at our night shelter
- temporary accommodation with host families
- dedicated houses donated or loaned to us for asylum seekers
The nightshelter team is an astonishing team of people, and the major output comes from the guests themselves in their care for each other and acceptance. When you see that - and you usually do - it's very powerful." Nick Edmondson, ASSIST Volunteer
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 give the most needy asylum seekers a small amount of money each week
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 refused asylum seekers who are most in need 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 destitute asylum seekers 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 night shelter, 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 asylum seekers can spend their time, meet people, learn English and more. We aim to enable them to become part of the Sheffield community, to overcome isolation and to improve their situation and well-being.
We give longer term assistance by supporting clients to pursue their asylum claim through our advocacy service.
We shout about asylum destitution
We work hard getting asylum seekers’ voices and needs heard in Sheffield.
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