Who Can Host?

You can be single or married.

You can own or rent your home (You may need to let your mortgage provider and insurance know. If you rent your home, you may need your landlord’s permission).

You’ll need to provide a spare room and access to bathroom, laundry and kitchen facilities.

You’ll need to be over the age of 25.

It’s not a problem if you have children in your home, but you’ll need to sign our waiver.

You’ll need to be part of a church with access to personal pastoral support and will adhere to our statement of faith.

There will need to be at least one person outside of your home who is able to offer a mentoring / befriending relationship for your guest.

You may need some flexibility in your schedule to allow for potential support of your guest eg accompanying to appointments etc.

You will be able to recognise and meet individual needs, promoting resilience and independence and providing stability.

You will be available for Host Training.

You must be willing to undertake a police clearance check.

You’ll need to provide us with two references, one from your church leader and one character reference.

Will I be paid rent to host?

This depends on the type of guest you feel able to host. We will discuss all these options with you. Some people are unable to access benefits and so would not be able to claim housing benefit. For these guests, hosts can claim up to £50 per week for expenses such as extra groceries and your guest’s travel expenses.

Can I host if I have children under 16?

You certainly can! You will need a sign our waiver and we will discuss safeguarding with you at your home visit and on the training course. Hosting with children in the home is such a rewarding experience and gives children a different perspective on the world.

Can I host if I also work outside the home?

Yes! Hosting can be as flexible as you need it to be. We do ask that you are available to spend some time, such as family meals, with your guest but working outside the home is definitely possible.

What about house rules?

House rules are really important. We will go into detail about setting these on the training course. You are free to set your own house rules and we can support you in doing this.

How long will the guest stay with me?

This varies from person to person depending on their circumstances ranging from a few months up to a year or more. During the matching stage, we will discuss length of stay with you.

What will my time commitment and responsibility be?

This also varies, depending on the individual’s needs. However, including your guest as a member of the family and spending time with them in different ways each day is a helpful way to view it. For example, you might cook a meal together or eat together. You might go shopping or for a walk together. Other needs might be accompanying them to appointments or supporting them to take public transport. It doesn’t have to be intense, simply sharing everyday life can be enough. You are not hosting as a professional and we do not expect you to provide professional services such as counselling or legal advice. You are simply welcoming another person into your family.

Will it impact family life? How?

The short answer is yes! The longer answer is dependent on each family and individual. We have found that hosting enriches family life and gives us a purpose, thereby bringing us together as a family. We’ve found our children are more accepting and patient than us sometimes! However, there are realities to understand and hosting can be sacrificial too. All of this will be covered in the host training.

Is it ok to have regular visitors in my home still?

Absolutely! Part of rebuilding confidence and independence is meeting others and learning to interact. Your guest may not wish to join in with all the social activities in your home, and this is fine too.

Will they need someone with them all the time?

No. Rebuilding independence means exactly that. You will need to think about this when you set your house rules in terms of issuing keys and leaving them alone in the house, but this is flexible to your own needs.

What if something goes wrong?

When your guest moves in, you will both sign an agreement. If this agreement is broken by either party, we can either arrange for your guest to move out or can support you by mediating and helping to find a resolution. This is a voluntary arrangement and can be ended by either party at any time. We will cover all of this in our training.

Will they speak English?

Possibly! This varies. But we can guarantee that you will have a lot of fun learning one another’s languages!

Will we be made aware of possible risks when being matched with a survivor?

We work with referral agencies to find out as much as we possibly can about each individual in order to make hosts aware of the risks involved. At any point, you are free to back out and we will help you to think through each placement and decide if it’s the right one for you.

Can we pay them to do odd jobs around the home?

No. This may jeopardise any asylum claim or access to benefits they may have.

Can we leave them with our children?

Again, safeguarding will be covered in our host training. This will vary and will depend on your own house rules, the risks associated and your own comfort levels.

Will I be able to specify the types of guest I am able to host?

Yes. We will discuss this with you at your home visit and will also cover it again during the host training. At any point, you are able to change your mind and we will never ‘force’ a guest on you.

What support is available for us and for our guest?

We will support you every step of the way to becoming a host, and afterwards too. We’ve been there and understand the joys and the challenges of hosting a survivor of trafficking in your home. We will also expect you to be supported by your local church in terms of ‘on the ground’ pastoral support. We would like each host home to provide a mentoring / befriending relationship for your guests and this needs to be someone outside of your home. This is so that if there are any issues, your guest has someone else they can talk to. Your guest will also be able to access support from their GP and other local services such as CAB. We also work with a fully trained counsellor who is able to offer support.

Do I need to provide meals?

This is to be agreed with your guest during the matching process. It will vary depending on a number of different circumstances.

Will hosting endanger my family?

We will cover all of this in the training course. There are measures that will need to be taken to ensure your safety (such as confidentiality), but we will work with the referral agencies to find out as much information as we can before placing your guest. We will never place someone with you knowing that they (or anyone else associated with them) are a danger to your family.

There are dangers inherent in taking any person into your home, particularly a stranger. However, in practice we manage these risks all the time whenever anyone new visits our home. We can never exclude all risk. Ultimately, it is for you to decide whether the benefits to you and the guest are greater than the risks.

Will I need to provide transport?

On occasion this might be necessary but part of Hope at Home’s aim is to promote independence, so it is more likely that your guest will use public transport.

What if my guest has to return back to their country or decides to leave my home?

Sometimes decisions are taken out of the hands of the survivor, and sometimes they will make decisions that we don’t understand. We will cover this in our host training. We will support you as you process the challenges of these scenarios.