About CLEAR Project
The CLEAR project was set up in 2001 by City Life Church in response to the Government’s dispersal policy on asylum seekers and refugees, which led to high numbers arriving in Southampton. Many of those who were dispersed here chose to make Southampton their home and our services have developed around the needs of this client group. Our beneficiaries are asylum seekers and refugees in Southampton. Due to a lack of English language and literacy skills and unfamiliarity with the UK system, they need help to deal with the complexity of the UK system in order to integrate into society.
Southampton remains a dispersal city with over 150 spaces for Home Office assisted asylum seekers. There are also many more asylum seekers who have exhausted their appeals rights who are not supported by the Home Office but are still in great need of specialist advice and help. Over the past few years other agencies have had to close their services in the city. In response to this CLEAR has sought to increase the breadth and depth of the services we offer.
Building a new life as a refugee in the UK is a long and difficult process. When an asylum seeker is given refugee status, their situation completely changes and they are expected to look after themselves very quickly. Finding somewhere to live, learning English and seeking work are just the first challenges. They often face disadvantages such as:
- Economic and social deprivation
- Poor housing and homelessness
- Difficulties accessing services
- Community tensions
- Racial and cultural discrimination and hate crime
- Poor physical and mental health