Most people have access to housing support and benefits if they lose their job or place to stay, but for some this isn’t an option due to their immigration status.
The reality means many can’t claim any benefits or support from the government and some are prevented from gaining employment. They are stuck in a vicious circle – no home means no job; no status means they can’t claim benefits or get on the housing register.
So we stepped in to provide supported accommodation for people with no recourse to public funds (NRPF).
Joe Beaty, Head of Accommodation & Pathways at King’s Arms Project explains: “Our No Recourse Accommodation provides essential housing and support for those in our community who are unable to access conventional accommodation services due to their immigration status.
Our service gives those most in need a place to stay for up to six months, with expert advice to help them decide on their next steps, without suffering the trauma of having to sleep on the streets.”
Orlando has received support through King’s Arms Project’s No Recourse Accommodation team.
This is Orlando’s story in his words:
“Before receiving support from King’s Arms Project I was in a bad situation, unemployed and living in temporary accommodation in a hotel. I felt depressed and ashamed. I was stuck in this sad situation.”
Talking about the impact of the support he’s received on his life Orlando said: I have received emotional support from my KAP support worker. I have good accommodation which is safe. My support worker helped me to get a full-time job and to find some talking therapy support, which has helped me to become a stronger person.
The support from King’s Arms Project has given me hope, a chance to start again.
My support worker has become an important person in my life as she gives me emotional and practical support. She’s like a teacher and life coach combined.
The support I’ve received has meant I have greater self-resilience and I no longer feel ashamed and now have hope for the future. In fact, I would like to study again.”
"My life is so different than eight months ago, I am busy working full-time and I have money to spend as I wish and to save. Sometimes I attend the Adventist Church and I meet with friends. I am enjoying reading and being outdoors.”
Lucy Bardner, Community Programmes Director at Harpur Trust said: “We’re really proud to support the continuation of the King’s Arms Project’s work with vulnerable migrants in Bedford who would otherwise be street homeless. Not only do they provide accommodation, but they offer a range of support to help people who can’t access public funds become independent, such as finding work or regularising their immigration status.”
Joe Beaty explained, “At King’s Arms Project we believe that whatever a persons’ circumstances, everyone deserves the dignity of a safe place to stay at night and the chance to get back on their feet and make the next crucial steps in their lives, in a stable, supportive environment. The generosity of funders like the Harpur Trust make this essential work possible.”
Lucy went on to say, “Bedford’s diversity is a real strength, aided by the willingness of local voluntary organisations to help newcomers settle in and thrive in a new environment. We have also recently funded a number of other organisations which promote social inclusion by providing access to multilingual free advice and support, advocacy, training, social activities and a listening service to people from a wide variety of countries who have settled in Bedford.”