Many of the people we see in our services do not originate from within the UK. A significant percentage of people in our day centre and other projects, both homeless and otherwise, have travelled to the UK as migrants to work but experience poor housing, bad working practices, unemployment and personal issues in their lives which mean they are in need. The bulk of these are from the EU and many from eastern Europe. There are also some people who are in the same position who came here as refugees, or were trafficked, but their numbers are much lower.
Given that sometimes they have no recourse to public funds, are sometimes threatened with deportation, and have no local support network, the position of many individuals like this can be desperate.
Hope does not discriminate between people in need. If someone is hungry, and without clothes, we feed and clothe them. We will continue to do so. But we also strive to offer more than just meet basic needs; to help them get jobs – as this is often the only way they can stay; to recover lost documents, to provide courses and training, address language skills and overcome addiction and other barriers. We also provide support services and activities to help people integrate, and be less isolated (including art, cookery etc)
We will continue to develop services for this set of service users, and we engage closely with community groups and organisations that offer local support, like the Polish Catholic Church, for example. This includes encouraging volunteering from those communities, the donation of specific foods, translation and help to move back, if that is what people want.