Thirteen and Open Door North East work in partnership

Thirteen and Open Door North East have been working in partnership since April 2022.

16 Dec 2022

Since April 2022, Thirteen and Open Door North East have worked together to find accommodation for over 40 families and individuals, in Thirteen properties.

Local charity Open Door North East have been supporting refugees and asylum seekers in the Tees Valley area since 2003.

As part of the services that Open Door North East provide, they support newly recognised refugees who have been given 28 days to leave their Home Office accommodation and support.

Colleagues at Thirteen are in frequent contact with the team at Open Door North East with details of properties that are immediately available, so that newly recognised refugees can access housing within this timeframe.  

Without accommodation newly recognised refugees can often find it difficult to integrate with communities.

35-year-old Moayad moved to the UK, from Syria, to protect his wife, Majd, and their children. When Moayad was granted refugee status, he was asked to leave his asylum accommodation, with his family, within 28 days.

Moayad and his family were unsettled and unsure what to do, so they accessed support through Open Door North East. As part of this support, the family found a property with Thirteen.

With a place to call home, Moayad went on to find a job as a quality advisor and is now working for one of the biggest civil engineering companies in the UK.

Majd is also doing a Masters degree.

The family said they wouldn’t be so settled without their home.

Emad Raad, refugee integration manager at Open Door North East said: “As a specialist charity supporting refugees and asylum seekers, we have partnered with Thirteen to assist newly granted refugees at risk of homelessness to access Thirteen accommodation. 

“Thirteen have worked with us to ensure they understand refugees' unique challenges, ensuring customers can easily access their accommodation. They have changed their allocation policy to make it easier for refugees to get into their properties and identify readily available properties so that such households don’t have to present as homeless and have a safe and secure first home.

"Open Door appreciates the commitment Thirteen has shown to help refugees, and we are looking forward to seeing how this partnership develops in the future.”

Suzanne Halliwell, head of care and support at Thirteen said: “We believe proactively offering access to social housing and support to refugees is a crucial step towards a warm welcoming approach towards refugees and their integration into UK society and we’re proud that Thirteen plays its part in achieving this.”