We run safe houses for survivors of Modern Slavery and trafficking who are referred to City Hearts through the NRM.
Adults referred through the NRM system must wait for a Home Office decision on whether they are ‘believed’ to be a victim of slavery. If they are given a ‘positive reasonable grounds’ decision, they are provided with at least 45 days of safe house support. Clients with no other accommodation are prioritised for a bed in a safe house, and often arrive with nothing other than the clothes they are wearing.
City Hearts has 15 safe houses located across the north of England, which are separated into male, female and family houses. Each house is designed and decorated in a way we hope contributes to a sense of peace and security for our clients.
When a client arrives at a safe house, they are assigned a case worker who will help meet their initial, basic needs, often providing food, clothing and access to washing facilities. Each person gets their own room, and is given a care pack of toiletries, new bedding, clothing and snacks.
Case workers visit the house daily to chat with clients, reassure them, and help them to access healthcare and other support, including financial, legal, and housing advice, and apply for education or work if they are eligible.
Clients are encouraged to be as independent as possible during their stay at a safe house. Whilst the address of the property is confidential, and no visitors are allowed, clients are encouraged to attend college courses, explore the local area and take part in activities within the community.
When a client is deemed independent enough to leave the safe house, they are signposted to alternative housing, such as through the local authority, or via the asylum system. They then have the option to remain in contact with City Hearts and continue to receive emotional and practical support through our Integration Support Department.
"When I came to the safe house I was so ashamed, but the caseworkers showed me so much love, and care and compassion. The safe house became my family.- Former safe house client who is now living and working independently."