Home4U began in 2007.
The creation of Home4U Cardiff happened because of the realisation that within UK Government Policy, people seeking asylum were being made destitute - without accommodation, financial support and prohibited from working to support themselves. These people had fled from human rights violations, oppressive regimes or threats of persecution and asked the UK for protection.
Home4U's beginning was made possible by the offer of a loan of a 2 bedroom house negotiated for free. Ruth O’Neill, Founder of Home4U, is a Catholic Sister inspired by Christian values and by the life of Vincent de Paul who co-founded her community. She believes that it is justice, before charity, that demands that those who seek protection are made welcome in the UK.
Home4U became a registered charity with the Charity Commission in 2015.
Today Home4U knows it has changed lives. It currently has four properties, accommodating six persons and with new plans, it will accommodate twelve by 2022. Home4U believes every person should have a home and food, from arrival in the UK until they are granted permission to stay or they return to their country.
To date, Home4U has taken 79 people out of destitution by providing them with accommodation, food security and cash support. More than this, Home4U helps to empower people and respects unique identities by offering individualized support through Key Workers.
Our Annual Sleep-Out Event
On November 22nd 2019, well protected by warm clothing and plastic sheeting, we spent another night outside, sleeping, sitting, standing, walking, in Cardiff City Centre.
It was the 11th Annual Sponsored Sleep-out for our Accommodation Project Home4U. Each year, this event raises funds to help us cover running costs for the project, utility bills, and a small weekly allowance for our residents.
Our annual Sleep-out raises £7500 on average. Until recently, this made up of 75% of our annual income!
People who participated in the Sleep-out said that what is so striking about spending a night on the street is that some parts of the night feel long while other parts go by in a flash. That’s how the people we support describe their lives. Days, weeks, months and years can drag by or somehow be ‘gone’ as they try to find the protection they need in the UK in order to be safe and live a normal life.
Getting through one night is easy enough for the volunteers on the Sleep-out because they have security, warmth and a home to return to. But for those whom we support, who have often been sofa surfing in dread of ending up on the street, their next day only offers another day and night of fear and insecurity. Life becomes extremely difficult.
We have not been able to plan the Sleep-out since the Covid-19 pandemic. However, we look forward to holding this event again in the future to raise money for our project and to raise awareness about the hardships and reality of destitution.