Destitution is something that can affect individuals at every stage of the asylum process.
Sometimes a refused asylum seeker cannot return to their home country and have no papers to travel anywhere else. However, they are not allowed to work nor do they have access to public funds. Such people can be left destitute for years but they would rather face this and feel safe than return to the place from which they fled. Others are left destitute between refusal and appeal.
People seeking sanctuary also face extreme poverty (support rates are around 50% below the UK poverty line) throughout the asylum process.
Ironically, many are left destitute at the point they get leave to remain while they wait for residents permits, NI number etc. so that they can apply for work / benefits or even access a homeless hostel.
Organisations working on Destitution
Asylum Matters – advocate and provide briefings on asylum support and accommodation issues and the right to work.
Still Human Still Here (Still Human Still Here is now part of the Asylum Matters project but their website still hosts a wealth of resources)
NACCOM the UK’s national No Accommodation Network
Strategic Alliance on Migrant Destitution
Information on Destitution / Advising Someone who is Destitute
Housing Rights Information page for People who are Destitute
A Guide to making a homelessness application from Refugee Council
Migrant Destitution Toolkit from Strategic Alliance on Migrant Destitution
Homeless Link resources on supporting people with no recourse to public funds
NACCOM briefing on ‘Right to Rent’ regulations
A video from Nottingham and Notts Refugee Forum on asylum destitution
Freedom from Torture ‘The Survivors’ ‘A to Z Guide to the Poverty Barrier’