Hope at Home is a national hosting scheme for survivors of modern slavery and human trafficking, training and supporting people to welcome a survivor into their homes. Guests are given the opportunity to rebuild their lives.
100,00 people are currently estimated to be in slavery in the UK at any one time. Most of these people are trapped in forced labour (car washes, nail bars, construction sites and farms) but criminal exploitation is also on the rise. Sexual exploitation and domestic servitude aren’t far behind. Human trafficking is a billion-dollar industry that cruelly exploits men, women and children and often targets those facing homelessness.
Hope at Home offers survivors a safe home while they decide on their next steps.
Jasmine was in her 60’s and had lived in the UK for over 20 years as a domestic slave. After her escape, she was desperate to return to the Philippines and live out her years in her village with her family. While waiting for the bureaucratic cogs to turn, she had nowhere to live so was welcomed by Hope at Home hosts.
Jasmine loved snuggling on the sofa with the youngest daughter of her hosts after school. She was introduced to Bonfire Night and Christmas! She enjoyed cooking and eating with the family and, most importantly, she felt safe. Jasmine said this:
“I have been comfortable in my room at my host’s house. Before it was not comfortable and it was noisy. I was frightened there. When I came here, I could sleep.”
After a few months with her hosts, the time came for Jasmine to return home to her village. It was an emotional goodbye but Jasmine is now in her own home and able to see her family after so long.
Esther, a lawyer in her home country, was living in a temporary hostel whilst waiting for longer term housing. The hostel was full of men who reminded her of her past traumas and her mental health began to decline. She was referred to Hope at Home and was placed with our hosts a day before lockdown began! While staying with our hosts, Esther passed her Maths and English GCSE’s. She is now at university studying to practice law in the UK and works supporting others who have experienced trafficking.
Esther said this: “My situation was extremely difficult. I couldn’t cope and was negative about my future. I suffered every day doing my life but now I am a new person.”
Hope at Home was founded on the values and vision of Jesus who went to those who were marginalised and in need to bring comfort and restoration. We believe that no survivor of slavery should be without a place to call home.
We always need new hosts, particularly in the larger cities of the UK. Put your spare room to good use by registering your interest here: https://www.hopeathome.org.uk/register-your-interest-hosting/ and follow us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/hopeathome.org.uk/ or Twitter @_hopeathome_ .
For concerns about modern slavery and exploitation, to get help or to report a suspicion, please contact the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700.
by Jared and Helen Hodgson, part of the Regions Beyond Birmingham church plant, are co-founders of Hope at Home.