In the tradition of the three Abrahamic faiths, the prophet Malachi reminds us that we should not “deprive the foreigner” of their wellbeing. In January 2015, a young man called Malachi Justin lost his tooth and got £5 from the Tooth Fairy. He sent that money to The Salvation Army in Ilford and asked us to use it to buy a home for a homeless person.
Project Malachi is a way to put these principles into practice.
The Salvation Army in Ilford has, for the last five winters, run a cold weather shelter for people sleeping rough, working in partnership with RAMFEL (www.ramfel.org.uk) to provide casework support to those with No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF). While the shelter provides a life- saving respite, the complexity of the personal situations means that longer-term help is required.
There are currently 42 people with NRPF sleeping rough in Redbridge. 36 of these people have been sleeping rough for two or more years, including a handful for over a decade. We are proposing that a “Housing First” approach could help resolve the situations of a number of these people.
Project Malachi is a yearlong pilot for The Salvation Army Ilford and RAMFEL to accommodate two people with NRPF at a time for as long as it takes to secure a more stable situation (including return to country of origin, regularization of stay in the UK, or exercising treaty rights). With intensive, specialist casework, and the pastoral care of volunteers, we hope to support a minimum of 4 people during this time.