The charity was established in 2007 by a group of Christians who were members of a small group within St Thomas’ Church, Philadelphia, Sheffield. The members were moved by the plight and needs of failed asylum seekers with whom members were having contact.
They observed that a piecemeal approach was insufficient to deal with the various crises failed asylum seekers face regularly in their daily lives. Many had lost all means of support and their accommodation had been withdrawn. Thus the group decided that a more structured and co-ordinated response was necessary which would also demonstrate the love of God to those in real need in our own city.
The small group started to plan the establishment of this charity in autumn 2006, and during that period met with individuals involved with asylum seekers in Sheffield and similar work in other cities in order to assess both the need and the best means of meeting that need.
Three of the small group became the initial trustees of the charity. One house was rented in a suburb of Sheffield and the three initial clients or as we came to describe them “guests” moved in to the house in September 2007.
In 2009 we were approached by a couple wishing to buy a house for the charity to use. This led to the use of a three bedroomed house in the north of the city. We still have the use of that house.
In the same year the charity had some surplus funds, and rather than leave the money in the bank, the trustees decided to rent some accommodation for a one year period. Consequently in July 2009 the charity rented for 12 months a three bedroomed flat on Abbeydale Road in Sheffield.
At the beginning of 2010 we were urgently seeking accommodation for two brothers and a sister who had been refused asylum and consequently had become homeless as they lost the accommodation they shared together. It was at this point that Cemetery Road Baptist Church approached us offering the use of their empty caretaker’s house for this family. We took on this house in February 2010 and the arrangement lasted for a two year period.
Currently the charity operates four houses two in the south of the city and two in the north including the one purchased for our use in 2009.
During this time we have housed nearly 70 failed and destitute asylum seekers from over 20 different countries.