BHN provide accommodation and board to destitute asylum seekers, our members, through our host network and men's hostel. We have facilitated hosting of over 100 people since 2009, providing safety and security to rebuild their lives in the UK.
Asylum seekers whose claim has been denied are forbidden from working and
are not allowed to claim benefits. Without an income, these individuals can't find
accommodation and are left destitute.
It was clear to us in 2009 that by providing accommodation, we could not only meet their immediate need for shelter and safety, but we could also buy them time to make a fresh claim after gathering the evidence required.
We couldn't do this without the hospitality of our hosts - individuals offering a room in their home as either short, medium or long-term accommodation for BHN members in need.
What is involved in becoming a host?
It really is as simple as providing a spare room. Duration is often a minimum of
three months. We work hard to get to know the hosts and their requirements
first in order to place appropriate members in their home. Some hosts have a
spare room with separate toilet, kitchenette and entrance. Others have a room
and are happy to either let the member live independently or provide community
and relationship by connecting with the member over food and socialising. We
can discuss your ideal hosting situation in order to facilitate a successful placement, and will provide support regarding social distancing during the lockdown.
It is a little more challenging to facilitate hosting during lockdown, but we have carried out our meetings via phone and video conferencing successfully, and are confident that this is not a barrier to assessing suitability and introducing host and member. Once a host placement has been facilitated, we will continue to provide specialist support to the person hosted (at the moment, on a weekly basis with interpreters where required), and troubleshoot any problems with the placement.
Unfortunately BHN isn’t currently able to place people in homes where children are living. Please do get in touch with us, however, as there may be other ways in which you can offer support.
During lockdown, some short-term placements have come to an end, requiring us to move members around. This has been more challenging however as we don't have an unlimited supply of hosts and few have come forward to offer a room during this time. The Bristol City Council have been able to provide accommodation in some instances, for which we are thankful for. However, they too are struggling to source accommodation. Luckily, current hosts have offered additional rooms and some members have been able to stay on sofas of friends, but this is not a stable solution. We are in great need of some new hosts that are able to provide accommodation for the minimum term of three-months or longer, supporting members during this challenging time.
What do I need to do to become a host?
If you have a spare room and are interested in hosting, please contact us to
discuss it further.
Please see our FAQ's for further information about hosting.
"Hosting really makes you feel you're actually making a positive difference, in a world which can sometimes feel uncaring". - Current Host, 2020
"Knowing there is support from BHN to both host and guest means you feel reassured and able to ask any questions". - Current host, 2020
"Hosting for BHN is massively rewarding, and very easy too." - Current host, 2020
"Most hosting requires minimal input- letting somebody stay in your spare room is a pleasure". - Current host, 2020
Has COVID-19 and the lockdown increased the need? The need for hosts is more acute than ever. Our host network is a mixture of short, medium and long-term placements. Most placements last for a minimum of three months, but they can be extended if both parties agree. Where hosting placements come to an end, we are able to move that person either to a new host or into our men's hostel.