Refugee Survival Trust is currently working in partnership with other agencies to support people seeking asylum in Scotland who are long-term destitute and homeless.
Destitute Asylum Seeker Service (DASS)
The Destitute Asylum Seeker Service (DASS) is a partnership project led by RST with the Scottish Refugee Council, British Red Cross, University of Strathclyde Law Clinic, Glasgow Night Shelter, Fasgadh and Rehoboth Nissi Ministries.
Using a model of holistic support, DASS assists refused asylum seekers who are ARE (Appeal Rights Exhausted) and NRPF (with no recourse to public funds) to find a route out of destitution and resolve their situation.
In order to understand more about the situation facing homeless destitute asylum seekers in Glasgow, RST commissioned the scoping study, “Preventing Destitute Homelessness” (2013, Community Infosource).
The findings of this study identified the need for improved access to legal support, healthcare and adequate temporary accommodation. It also highlighted the need for good partnership working at local level. This formed the basis for the design and development of the DASS project.
How DASS Works
- Referral: Referrals to DASS are made primarily via partners in the destitution network, via self-referral or through a drop-in at the Scottish Refugee Council. You can also refer via RST – please see our Referrals page for details.
- Casework: After referral, the client meets the Destitution Adviser who explains the purpose of the project and carries out a holistic assessment of needs. This includes signposting to health services where necessary and assisting with emergency shelter if needed.
- Emergency shelter: DASS assists clients to find a regular safe place to sleep through signposting to the Glasgow Night Shelter or referral to Positive Action In Housing’s Room For Refugees hosting scheme.
- Legal Project: The Immigration Case Adviser at Strathclyde Immigration Law Clinic reviews the asylum cases of clients with no legal representation and provides oral and written advice. If there is new evidence, Law Clinic volunteers help to prepare a fresh claim application. For clients who already have legal representation, the Law Clinic can offer additional support, with the solicitor’s consent.
- Temporary accommodation: DASS clients whose cases are being investigated at the Law Clinic may be offered temporary accommodation for up to one year in one of our shared houses or flats. The DASS Accommodation Worker and volunteers provide practical support with moving in, getting to know the area and accessing local services.
- Casework support: DASS clients receive ongoing casework support which includes signposting to additional services and help with completion of Section 4 applications.
- Data collection: We collect quantitative and qualitative data at all stages of the project. This data will be used to advocate for better services for destitute asylum seekers and to campaign for changes in the asylum system.
Referrals to DASS
Before making a referral to DASS, please check that the person you are referring is eligible. To qualify for DASS support, applicants must be:
- A refused asylum seeker and ‘appeal rights exhausted’ (ARE)
- Destitute, with no recourse to public funds (NRPF)
Making a referral
You can make a referral via Refugee Survival Trust by either:
- Calling us on 0141-353-5603
- Emailing DASS_Administrator@rst.org.uk for a referral form or
- Downloading our DASS referral form (in pdf or MS Word format). Please see http://www.rst.org.uk/what-we-do/destitute-asylum-seeker-service-dass/making-a-referral.
Please email completed forms to DASS@scottishrefugeecouncil.org.uk.
If you have any questions about DASS or want to make a referral, please call Cath McGee on 0141 353 5603 or email via DASS_Manager@rst.org.uk.