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Hosted accommodation

Safe Havens is our innovative hosted accommodation scheme which provides short-term respite care for victims and survivors and their children.

Safe Havens hosts are fully vetted and trained and they provide good quality, temporary accommodation to anyone who has experienced domestic abuse or sexual violence. Safe Havens supports people irrespective of age, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability or immigration status.

How does it work?

We know that when you are living in an abusive household, the focus is on staying safe and it is not always easy to think about your options or to make decisions. Safe Havens provides safe accommodation with a host family for one or two nights to up to 2 months to give you the time and space to consider your options.

You will be matched with a host family and supported by a specialist domestic abuse practitioner during your stay. They will talk you through your options and provide emotional and practical support around issues such as housing, welfare benefits and employment or training.

Becoming a host

Save Havens is one of the first schemes of its kind. If our values resonate with you, and you have a spare room in your home, you can apply to be a Safe Havens host and provide temporary accommodation to someone fleeing domestic abuse.

Becoming a Safe Havens host can be incredibly rewarding, and you will receive training and support every step of the way. As a host you will offer a room in your house to an individual or family fleeing abuse who need some time and space to consider their options. Every match will be planned, and we try our best to match suitable people who will stay with you from a day or two up to two months.

Your guest will receive support from one of our domestic abuse practitioners, so you will not be expected to provide any emotional or practical support. The Project Officer will assist you to develop an agreement, so that both parties understand the expectations and limitations of the relationship.

Frequently asked questions

As a person using Safe Havens

Yes, we have host families who can accommodate both single people ad those who have dependent children.
Some of our hosts may be able to accommodate certain pets, whereas others will not. If you need to bring a pet with you, we will do our best to match you with someone who can accommodate them; alternatively, we can help you to find temporary foster care for your pets.
We take time to get to know our hosts and clients and try to match people based on things such as interests and cultural needs. Where possible, and it is safe to do so, you may have the opportunity to meet the host before you decide to stay. If, after you have arrived, you decide that you do not like where you are staying, you can talk with your dedicated domestic abuse practitioner. They will resolve any issues they can, but we recognise that sometimes people will not want to stay at their host’s home, and in that case, we will discuss alternative options with you.

If you decide to go home, we can continue to support you through our community services if you live in our area. If you live elsewhere, we can help you access services there. You can refer yourself again at any time if you need to flee from your home.

Your benefits should not be affected whilst you are staying with a host.

As a Safe Haven host

You can register your interest by contacting IDAS. We will ask you to complete an application form. Alternatively, you can contact us for an informal chat before you complete the form.

Once we have received your application, we will contact you for a chat and talk you through the next steps. We will also contact the referees you have identified in your application. You will also be asked to complete a DBS and some IDAS online training. The next step is attending the bespoke training we have developed for potential hosts. This will equip you with the information you need to host . The final stage is a home visit, so that we understand the accommodation you have to offer and can ensure a suitable match.
No, all our hosts very generously volunteer their time and offer accommodation free of charge.
Because you are not being paid to host, your benefits should not be affected.
Yes. We will take this into consideration when matching you with an individual or family and talk with you in training about how to safeguard everyone in the household.
No, you are not expected to provide meals or to clean for your guests. You may want to agree how the kitchen will be shared, as part of an agreement with them. We recommend that boundaries are clearly set out and understood so that the placement is more likely to succeed. You may, however, choose to eat together from time to time and this is also OK.
We will try our best for you to have a suitable match. If you feel the placement is not working, you can contact the Safe Havens Officer, who will talk through the issues with you. If they are not able to help resolve the problem through negotiation and possibly mediation, we will look for alternative accommodation for the guest. Please feel free to contact the Safe Havens Officer at the earliest opportunity, so that things do not escalate. As a volunteer with IDAS, you will also have access to volunteer support networks.
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