Breathing Space is a unique accommodation service, filling a crucial support gap for people seeking safety in Scotland through the asylum system, who have become homeless and have lost their entitlement to support.
Breathing Space prevents people becoming destitute by providing safe temporary accommodation and legal advice to people while they work to resolve their situation. Breathing Space developed from the accommodation provided as part of the Destitute Asylum Seeker Service (DASS). DASS was a Refugee Survival Trust-led partnership project that ran from 2014 to 2021. In designing our new service, we have listened to feedback from former service users who told us that what they most valued was the ongoing support of staff, along with the weekly cash allowance and bus pass, which gave them the freedom to live an independent life despite their circumstances.
People seeking asylum in the UK have very few entitlements over and above what is provided by the Home Office. If these entitlements are lost or suspended, even for a short period, people are left completely destitute, with no home and no income.
It’s hard for us to imagine how we would get by in times of trouble if we did not have the safety net of our benefits system and homelessness services, but people living in Scotland who are seeking asylum cannot access these services so if things go wrong, they have nowhere to turn.
Breathing Space provides this crucial safety net when it is most needed.
Refugee Survival Trust is grateful for the support of The Robertson Trust, Nationwide Community Grants, the Steele Foundation and the kindness and generosity of individual supporters, through which we are able to provide this much needed service.
We look forward to working with other organisations in the refugee sector including Scottish Refugee Council, British Red Cross, Govan Community Project, Central and West Integration Network, Ubuntu and Amina along with our legal partner, Strathclyde University Law Clinic.
Please see the file below for application criteria for referrers and more information on the service.