JRS UK has welcomed the first residents to Amani House in London. This new home for male refugees was made possible by the kind generosity of the Jesuits in Britain, other religious orders, and JRS UK supporters.
Finding safe accommodation is, increasingly, one of the most pressing challenges facing refugees in the UK. One new resident explained: “For the past year and a half, I prayed daily for stable accommodation. Amani House is that answer to my prayers! I’m thrilled to move in and it finally feels like I’m coming home. I’m excited to be in charge of my own daily routine. I’ll be able to sleep when I want to and eat whenever I want to.”
For many years JRS UK has provided a Hosting scheme, with volunteers welcoming refugee friends into their homes. Amani House offers the chance to live within a shared residence, for those who require longer-term accommodation. The Accommodation Team at JRS UK will support people to live within a safe community there. Each resident has their own bedroom and shares the communal areas.
Amani House residents also share the values that underpin this new community: mutual respect and kindness, working together, sharing responsibility for the house, and supporting each other through difficult times. Amani House is not only a place of peace and safety, but also one where new friendships can be born.
One refugee friend shared his joy at moving into Amani House: “I’m excited to share life stories and be part of a fraternity as we are all in the same situation. I’m ready to belong with my community and be less stressed and anxious. We will make use of every room, the kitchen for nourishment, the prayer room to talk to God and my bedroom for sleep. I’m excited for the positive energy of the House.”
Emilie House, JRS UK’s house for female refugees opened in 2021 thanks to the kindness of the Sisters of the Holy Family of St Emilie. Since then, it has offered many refugee friends a unique opportunity to find safety as well as regaining independence and vital life-skills.
Everyone at JRS UK is immensely grateful for the generous support of all those who have now made the opening of Amani House possible. As one new resident expressed: “I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. In my situation, every penny counts and without their help we would have been homeless and in a much worse situation. Thank you for everything!”