Case studies from The Passage charity, Saturday 15th February, 2020
HK was originally a supervisor in a steel factory in his home country.
The steel factory is connected with the local government and in turn, with the state. HK was consequently involved in the organisation of workers’ protests against retrenchment (the factory owe the workers a substantial amount of unpaid wages). After a protest, he was informed that the police were looking for him. As the police are strongly affiliated with the state (they have been known to use excessive forces against civilians) and some of the fellow organisers of the protests have been arrested, HK believed that his safety was threatened. Therefore he decided to flee the country, leaving his family behind. He eventually ended up in the UK and sought asylum. Initially, he was provided temporary accommodation and he had paid a solicitor to assist with his case. However, as the time went by, due to lack of support (language barrier; miscommunication; solicitor firm closing down), his case was not followed up. He was evicted from the accommodation and he then became homeless. He managed to get live-in work and cash-in-hand jobs to survive but he had to constantly be cautious of people finding out of his status. He was then noticed by the Outreach team in Westminster and he was referred to the Passage’s immigration solicitor to work on his case. He is now temporarily accommodated whilst immigration case is on. By given access of a laptop via SocialBox.Biz, he would be able to keep in touch with the modern world and this would in turn improve his quality of life.
AM has been living in a flat in Westminster since 2001.
However, she developed various health issues in 2012 and her conditions consequently deteriorated and she was hospitalised. She was then evicted from her flat due to her housing benefits being stopped. AM approached the council but due to lack of valid ID (she couldn’t afford to pay for a new passport), they were not able to help her. In 2017, she was directed to the Passage, who assisted her with getting her ID and benefits issues sorted. The Passage also helped her with temporary accommodation whilst working on a more permanent move-on plan. Once her benefits claim was started up again, AM was referred to the ETE team to look for work. Initially, AM’s IT skills were very basic. The ETE team assisted with improving on her computer skills and her confidence in order to boost her employability. Anne can now easily log into her Universal Credit account and check her emails. AM is currently in the “bidding” process for council housing so she would potentially be regaining her independence and move on. Therefore by giving her a donation of a laptop via SocialBox.Biz Initiative, it would allow her to continue with job-searching – the next step of becoming even more independent – and it would also enable her to keep in touch with family.