The project is for people who have lost or don’t have access to state-funded benefits and housing, and is a last resort to help them move on from the trauma of homelessness.
Oxfordshire has cutting-edge support services for people experiencing homelessness, both through local councils and an extremely dedicated charity sector. However, there is a group of around 20 people currently experiencing homelessness locally who cannot access any state-funded support, putting them under unimaginable pressure.
People in this situation are often not allowed to work; neither are they eligible for benefits, nor allowed to use public services except for basic health care. This leaves them at high risk of abuse and exploitation.
OHM has brought together three experienced local partners to address this unmet need, offering hope to people who really are at breaking point. Longstanding local charities Aspire, Asylum Welcome and Connection Support are offering dignified housing, advice and advocacy to resolve any legal issues, and personalised assistance to help people overcome the complex issues that led to them becoming homeless.
Local housing association Soha has stepped up to provide 12 beds at a peppercorn rent.
Thanks to the generosity of private donors, we have housed and supported eight people since the summer, and will be accommodating a further two in the New Year. They now have the chance for a new beginning, preparing for work and to be a part of the community again.
One of the people supported is Randjar, who says: “When I arrived in Oxford I was homeless, I couldn't get any benefits and had nowhere to turn. I couldn’t go back to my home country, it was too dangerous. Since I was referred to this new service, Hozan from Connection Support has helped me move into my own home, and helped me find emotional support to move on from my ordeal. He has also helped me with practical things like completing application forms and getting to appointments. I am so grateful to finally feel safe, and can now think about the future, including education and work options so that I can regain my independence.”
This Christmas, your donations could help provide homes and support to 12 more people who have been denied a home due to their legal status.
What you can do to help
- Increase your understanding of the issues by signing our charter and spreading the word about OHM.
- Fundraise for OHM over the festive period.
- Volunteer for local homeless organisations offering support at Christmas.
- Give anything from warm coats to food via our partner Helping Oxfordshire Homeless Collaboration, who have donation points across Oxfordshire and run an Amazon wish list.
- Make a one-off gift:
- £10 will help someone rebuild their life by making it to vital appointments
- £75 will enable someone to be self-sufficient in their new home
- £250 will help someone recover from the trauma of homelessness with counselling and support
- Make a regular donation to help us deliver this project and others well into the future
- You can donate online or by sending a cheque made payable to Oxfordshire Community Foundation with OHM written on the reverse to Oxfordshire Homeless Movement, PO Box 941, Oxford OX1 9TQ.