Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) organisations and charities can provide advocacy support and practical assistance to people with no recourse to public funds and other migrant groups. This could range from help with applying for Home Office asylum support, providing food parcels, facilitating support groups or peer mentoring etc. Some organisations may be registered to provide immigration advice and may be able to provide free assistance to people. Increasingly, councils are funding local VCS organisations to provide legal advice to people they are supporting.
Some organisations can provide housing for destitute asylum seekers, refugees and people with no recourse to public funds, for example, through hosting schemes or accommodation projects, some of which may be set up in partnership with the local council or housing association. This support can be a lifeline for people who do not qualify for statutory support from the Council or the Home Office, and is particularly relied upon by adults who do not have children in their care or care needs and therefore do not qualify for social services’ support.
As some accommodation projects have had to close or reduce their service due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there is likely to be additional demand placed on existing services.
Organisations that are considering setting up projects to accommodate destitute people with no recourse to public funds can refer to the housing toolkit produced by the No Accommodation Network (NACCOM). Housing Associations can refer to guidance by the National Housing Federation on helping people with no recourse to public funds avoid homelessness.
Organisations will need to develop their own lists of the migrant support services in their area, including those that provide accommodation to people with no recourse to public fund. The list of NACCOM's member projects by region may help with initial signposting. Many of its member organisations provide housing or hosting schemes across the UK.
There may be services that assist a particular group of people with no recourse to public funds. For example, the Southall Black Sisters No Recourse Fund can be accessed to provide a short period of accommodation for women with no recourse to public funds who are facing gender based violence, whilst they access legal advice or get other support. Referrals are only accepted from VCS organisations.