For a number of years, destitute asylum seekers and refugees have been hosted on an ad-hoc basis across Calderdale, but following a preliminary meeting in January, NACCOM Member St. Augustine’s Centre has produced a hosting guide and is looking at ways of developing the scheme and recruiting more hosts.
Vicky Ledwidge, Centre Leader at St Augustine’s Centre, says; ‘There currently isn’t any official temporary accommodation for destitute asylum seekers and refugees in Calderdale apart from the winter shelter. We have good links with Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council Housing team, and a member of their staff runs a drop in at St. Augustine’s Centre, but there is a huge gap in provision and we need to be more proactive to find suitable accommodation for people.’
Developing a hosting scheme in the region can be challenging, as Vicky explains: ‘The majority of the area is rural, so we are looking at how we can involve new hosts across the region in ‘hubs’. We hope that the hosting scheme will grow, but recognise that a member of staff needs to dedicate a day a week to enable this to happen.’