Tabor House responds to Birmingham homelessness figures


Report from Father Hudson’s Care

After recent Government statistics showed a 60% rise in the number of people sleeping rough in Birmingham, Father Hudson’s Care (CSAN member charity) has spoken about the work at Digbeth homeless shelter, Tabor House.

Since opening in September 2017, Tabor House has supported ten people to move into their own accommodation. Yet more people have been supported to move back in with families or shared living arrangements. Volunteers at Tabor House provide hospitality to guests, offering them a warm and friendly welcome as they adjust to the shelter. Volunteer mentors assist guests in accessing the support they need to move forward – training, managing debt, building their employment skills – whatever they need to turn their lives around.

Christy Acton, Deputy Community Projects Manager at Father Hudson’s Care said, “The rise in homelessness is disappointing. We can see on the streets of Birmingham that the issue is getting worse. Tabor House is here 365 nights a year, and we’re trying to help people for the long-term. Some guests stay for three or four months, and during that time we work with them to give them every chance to move on. This may be into their own accommodation, or into work – we give them time and space to take steps forward.

“You can find yourself on the street very quickly. You can lose your job, a relationship might end – there are a whole range of complex issues. You end up with no choice but to sleep on the streets. But there’s a lot of good work going on in the city to try and help. Ideally we want to catch someone before they have that first night or those first few days because we find that once someone has had a few weeks or months on the streets, it’s a much harder situation to deal with.”

Tabor House is a collaborative project between Father Hudson’s Care, Midland Heart, Housing Justice, Irish in Birmingham, the Society of St Vincent de Paul (England and Wales), the Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham, corporate philanthropists, and local homelessness specialists. Together they have formed iShelter—a new homelessness organisation that aims to help homeless people turn their lives around. Homeless people are referred to Tabor House by the Birmingham charities Midland Heart and Sifa Fireside. The project is managed by the iShelter Management Committee, made up of representatives from the key partner organisations, under the umbrella of Father Hudson’s Care.

European Catholics discuss future of work


By Kevin Flanagan, Director, St Antony’s Centre for Church and Industry, Manchester (CSAN member charity)

I was pleased to attend a meeting in 2018 of the Commission of the Catholic Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (Comece), as a representative for England and Wales. There are several committees, of which the Social Affairs Commission is important in relation to the work of many of CSAN’s members. My main participation on the Commission was to represent the situation in England and Wales, in their discussions on the ‘Future of Work’. I participated in three Commission meetings and, together with Bishop William Kenney (Auxiliary in Birmingham), the launch conference for their report on The Future of Work which took place at the end of November 2018.

The primary purpose of the report was to put before the Commission and other partners a vision for decent, sustainable and a participatory world of work, that serves the common good and reflects the dignity and value of each person. This discussion is vital given the significant changes taking place globally: automation, more precarious work and the need to be alert to the impact that work is having on individuals, families, societies and global resources. There have been many reports that some sectors of the economy and communities will be increasingly impacted due to not having the ability to compete within the new forms of economy that are demanding high levels of skills. Within Europe, the percentage of those in work who are at risk of poverty is estimated to have increased by 2%, to 9.6%, over the 10 years to 2017. I was delighted to give evidence from my Trade Union work, the work of St Antony’s Centre for Church and Industry, and my knowledge of CSAN’s members.

The Commission also discussed the challenges facing young people. For example, youth unemployment had in some countries (for example Spain, Greece, Italy and Croatia) grown to around 30-40%, while the EU as a whole had record employment levels of 239m people in work. An expert from the Spanish Bishops’ Conference highlighted the need for vocational training and good school-to-work transition.

The opportunity to be part of these discussions dovetailed well with our engagement at St Antony’s Centre with EZA (the European Centre for Workers’ Questions) and GEPO (the European Workers’ Pastoral Group), both of which held conferences in Manchester last year.

Readers may be interested to know that Comece has published other relevant documents including, ‘Robotisation of Life: Ethics in View of New Challenges’ and a ‘Contribution to the consultation on “challenges of work-life balance faced by working parents and caregivers”’.

Dementia in Faith Communities


By Margaret Hinton, Marriage and Family Life Coordinator, Diocese of Wrexham

The Dementia In Faith Communities group was set up as part of Prime Minister David Cameron’s work towards the Big Society, to work as an ecumenical and interfaith advisory group. The main purpose of the group was to share good practice in supporting those living with dementia among the faith groups represented there, and to be a reference group to Livability (the country’s largest Christian disability charity) and to Alzheimers UK.  There were representatives on the group from Christian denominations – Anglican, Catholic, Methodist, Quaker and free churches, and from Muslim, Sikh, Hindu and Jewish communities. I have been a Catholic voice on this group since 2017, keeping CSAN abreast of progress.

The group were pleased to assist Livability and Alzheimers UK in the organisation of the first national conference on Faith, Culture and Dementia which took place in the Friends’ Meeting House in London on 11 April 2018.

The packed conference was opened by Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive of Alzheimers UK, who summed up the essence of the day to come: ‘Faith is an anchor to who we are; so much of our personhood is held in our faith. This continues to be the case after a diagnosis of dementia.’  Other contributors included Shelagh Robinson, a Quaker who is living with dementia, who spoke about the experience of living with dementia as a person of faith in a Quaker community; Rabbi Menachim Junik, of Jewish Care, and Balvinder Kaur of Sikh Council UK. Their experiences painted very different pictures about how those living with dementia were supported (or in some cases not supported) by their own faith communities.  The remainder of the day was taken up with lively table discussions on Finding solutions to the challenges people with dementia face, enabling them to continue to interact with their faith and cultural communities; Becoming a dementia-friendly place of worship and supporting the wider community, and Dementia friendly services, sermons or prayers.

There was much to take away from the day and a much more good practice and prayers shared than I can write about in a short blog, so I urge you to read more about the conference here.

Caritas Leadership Week – Part 2


In September 2018, around 50 leaders of Catholic charities in England and Wales gathered in Rome for a few days, dedicated to leadership development. Two of the Directors have written a personal reflection on the experience. This is the second, from Steven Webb, Director of Development for the  Diocese of Brentwood.

Last week I was privileged to be in Rome with over 50 people from Caritas organisations all over England & Wales. We were engaged in discussions about topics such as how to promote this important work, how to train leaders for the future and how to ensure we meet the needs of those we serve. We met together in the company of our colleagues from Caritas Europa and we shared experience and learning. We visited the Secretary General of Caritas Internationalis and the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, where we discussed the importance of working together and facing issues that cross national boundaries. We also met with the UK Ambassador to the Holy See and had an opportunity to share matters of concern under Chatham House Rules.

All of this brought home to me just how important is the work that we have embarked upon together in our diocese. I simply wanted to share that with you and to express once again my thanks for all that you are doing. Not everyone likes the word “Caritas” and I understand that it is not an everyday word. However, the fact that it is not an everyday word should give it special meaning for us. We should take time to ponder and pray upon the meaning.

The fact that it is a word shared by our brothers and sisters across Europe and the whole International Catholic Community should give us a sense of solidarity with them and all those they serve. To see the amazing work of Caritas Europa and Caritas Internationalis was wonderful, to feel so at home with them as Caritas Social Action Network was fantastic and to realise that Caritas Diocese of Brentwood is taking its first steps on the same journey is genuinely exciting.

At the same time as we were in Rome, the Bishops of England and Wales were having their visit ad limina Apostolorum. During this visit to the various dicasteries and Vatican departments our Bishops discuss issues relevant to our dioceses and also meet with the Holy Father. They also pray together in the Basilicas and at the tombs of St Peter and St Paul. They were constantly in our prayers as we met just across the eternal city. It was a wonderful experience to celebrate Holy Mass and to pray together with our bishops at the tomb of St Paul.

At the end of their visit, the Bishops of England and Wales made a statement that is published in full on their website. Of particular relevance is the following extract from it:

“Our reports of the Eucharistic Congress ‘Adoremus’ have been well received, as has the strength of our compassionate outreach to those in need. Indeed, the leaders of Catholic charitable works from England and Wales were present in Rome at this same time, at the instigation of Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN) and we were able to spend time and pray together. In encouraging this work of outreach, Pope Francis urged us always to walk with those engaged in its projects so as to draw them nearer to the Lord who is the source of compassion and mercy.”

The fact that our Bishops and the Holy Father place so much importance on the exercise of the ministry of charity should be most heartening to all of us involved in this work. The fact that Pope Francis links it so firmly with drawing people nearer to the Lord makes clear the role of evangelisation played by exercising the ministry of charity.

As Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI wrote in Deus Caritas Est and repeated in “On the Service of Charity”, the exercise of this ministry is one of three equally important and inseparable responsibilities that express the deepest nature of our Church. For this reason Caritas is included as one of our 12 Strands of Renewal as we work together to evangelise in the Diocese of Brentwood.

May we always walk with those engaged in our projects so as to draw them nearer to the Lord who is the source of compassion and mercy.

Caritas Leadership Week – Part 1


In September 2018, around 50 leaders of Catholic charities in England and Wales gathered in Rome for a few days, dedicated to leadership development. Two of the Directors have written a personal reflection on the experience. This is the first, from Eddie Gilmore, Chief Executive of the Irish Chaplaincy, based in London.

I get the chance through my work to meet a lot of great people, in some interesting places (from prisons to palaces), and the Caritas Leadership Week near Rome did not disappoint. We were a group of fifty, representing a range of Catholic charities and dioceses in England and Wales, staying at Villa Palazzola, a 13th century Cistercian monastery perched above a volcanic lake, Lago di Albano, and according to the website ‘Rome’s best kept secret’.

From the garden terrace at the Villa (where pre-dinner drinks were served in the evening!) the view is vast and truly breathtaking. On the opposite side of the lake can be seen the twin towers of Castel Gandolfo, the summer papal residence; beyond that in the distance the urban sprawl of Rome; and further still on a clear day the bright blue of the Mediterranean. I loved to stand on that terrace at various times of the day and to behold the subtly changing vista and colours. The sunsets over the lake were especially stunning.

According to the program the purpose of the four days was: ‘the formation of leaders within the Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN) through personal development, developing relationships as a community of leaders, and experiencing ourselves as part of the global Caritas family and universal Church’. I would say in retrospect that the meeting achieved all of those aims. A key element for me of such events will always be meeting people and building relationships, and I was really touched and inspired by those I met. I could see how everybody in the group was enjoying meeting one another on a very human level, and getting a sense of being part of something greater than ourselves and our own organisation. The nice location helps with that; also being well cared for, with good food and wine (occasionally I resisted, but mostly I didn’t!). And there’s also a swimming pool, which I had been particularly looking forward to using. I managed four swims during the meeting, also three runs through the woods that circle the lake (there are some very sporty types in the CSAN family!)

Another central element of the week was prayer and liturgy. Amongst the group were four of the loveliest and most down to earth priests (also a deacon) and they led us in a daily celebration of Mass, and in the Morning (7.15 am!) and Evening Prayer of the Church. One morning the Mass was in the crypt of St Peter’s, in front of the tomb of St Peter; and the following day it was with the Bishops of England and Wales in the magnificent basilica of St Paul’s Outside the Walls, and which included a final prayer at the tomb of St Paul.

And there was music! I found a guitar in the house and one evening after the bar had opened I got together with Sean who had a collection of tin whistles and recorders, having worked as a professional musician before joining Caritas. What a session that was! We spent about two hours singing mainly Irish songs, some of which I hadn’t sung in over twenty years but somehow could still remember the words to. Being a mainly Catholic group, a lot of people had Irish roots and there was no shortage of either requests for yet another Irish song or people joining in. Then on the final night Sean compered a musical evening during which several people did turns. One of my favourite pieces was a music hall song called ‘Light fingered Freddy’ which is from a Salvation Army musical (I never knew such a thing existed). Yes, one of the CSAN directors is a Salvationist, and what a great guy he is. He runs as well!

We were not just eating, drinking, singing, swimming and praying: there was excellent input, besides two trips into Rome to meet different groups (and to have lunch with the British Ambassador to the Holy See). The main speaker was Kerry Robinson, who founded ‘Leadership Roundtable’ based in Washington DC. She was particularly eloquent on the urgent need for the Catholic Church to harness the gifts of women in leadership at all levels. I was excited when Kerry mentioned Henri Nouwen, the Dutch priest who had been a member of L’Arche in Toronto and of how he had encouraged us to be people of joy and gratitude. This was in the context of fundraising which was one of the themes of the week and I later shared with the group something Henri has once said in a talk about fundraising: “When we ask people for money we shouldn’t be embarrassed or apologetic; we should say ‘it is my pleasure to invite you to share in our mission’”!

Another inspiring speaker was Sally Read, an English poet living near Rome, who told one evening the very moving story of her journey from atheism to faith. And I was touched as well by our meeting with members of Sant’Egidio, a community in Rome that reaches out to those in need, including many homeless.

To all the wonderful people I met at Villa Palazzola: keep up the great work and hope to see you again.

‘A Kingdom of justice, love and peace’ – The Eucharist and social justice


By Dr Philip McCarthy, Chief Executive, Caritas Social Action Network

When I was asked to speak on ‘how the Eucharist changes the way we can see the world and the demands it makes on how we should live’, my mind went back to an early experience. When I was 16 a Marist priest who taught at my school asked for volunteers for an overnight soup run in central London. What I saw that cold night had a profound effect on me. It was the mid-1970s when ‘cardboard cities’ lined the Thames embankments: homeless people sleeping in boxes. People huddled under the extractor fans from the Strand Palace Hotel for warmth, and many as hungry as they were cold. The soup run was provided by a couple of priests, several religious sisters and dedicated lay people. They all had day jobs,
and as the night wore on I witnessed their commitment to alleviating hunger and loneliness. I realised that this was an integral part of their Christian faith.

In my adolescent mind I had assumed that being a Catholic meant going to Church and trying not to commit sins, so this was a breakthrough for me! Pope Benedict XVI tells us in Deus Caritas Est,

‘The Church’s deepest nature is expressed in her three-fold responsibility: of proclaiming the word of God, celebrating the sacraments, and exercising the ministry of charity (caritas). These duties presuppose each other and are inseparable. For the Church, charity is not a kind of welfare activity which could equally well be left to others, but is a part of her nature.’

If proclaiming the word, celebrating the sacraments and caritas are inseparable, it follows that the Eucharist, the ‘source and summit’ of our Christian lives, must make demands on the way we relate to others, particularly those in poverty and
exclusion from society. Like manna in the desert, the Eucharist sustains us in difficult times and helps us to deal with our limitations. St Pope John Paul II wrote: ‘Were we to disregard the Eucharist, how could we overcome our own deficiency?”

We go to church to receive the gift of the Eucharist, but from the moment we enter the building we are reminded of the demands of social justice. We know that Jesus caused scandal to the religious authorities of his own time by sharing meals with outcasts – but how well do we welcome outsiders and those who do not easily ‘fit in’ to the Eucharistic
feast? I expect that most of us can think of times when we have failed in this and so we start Mass by admitting our own failures and brokenness.

Throughout the Mass there may be words and actions that remind us that the Eucharist calls us to serve each other, as Jesus did at the Last Supper by washing the feet of his disciples. We may also reflect that such love and service can be costly and as we call to mind Jesus’ sacrifice for us, we may reflect on the sacrifices that many have made in His Name for social justice. The Blessed Oscar Romero, one of the patrons of Caritas, gunned down while saying Mass, is a vivid example, but we may also be called to make day to day sacrifices of our time and energy for others.

At the end of the Mass, having met Jesus in the Eucharist, we are sent forth, not just to gossip on the church steps, but to change the world and build the Kingdom of God. We have received the body of Christ and now we leave to be the body of Christ for our world; to bring healing and wholeness to a divided and unjust world. As St Teresa of Avilla wrote:

‘Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he
looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”

I have described some of the demands that the Eucharist makes on the way we live our lives, but how does it change the way we see the world? It seems to me that this is where Eucharistic adoration can help us. Through Eucharistic adoration
we may be led into contemplation of wholeness, the unity of the human family and the wonder of the universe. In Laudato Si’ Pope Francis wrote:

‘In the Eucharist, fullness is already achieved; it is the living centre of the universe, the overflowing core of love and of inexhaustible life. Joined to the incarnate Son, present in the Eucharist, the whole cosmos gives thanks to God. Indeed, the Eucharist is itself an act of cosmic love. We are called to respond to this outpouring love for us, through acts of compassion for others and care
for our planet.’

A brief article can only touch on a few aspects of this subject. I hope the Adoremus Congress workshop will enable us to explore this subject in greater depth and lead to practical actions in service of others. If so, what a wonderful legacy
Adoremus might leave in England and Wales for the years to come.

This article was prepared for a workshop at the National Eucharistic Congress held in Liverpool on 8-9 September 2018, and was first published in ‘The Universe’.

Working for a better future


What demands does Catholic Social Teaching make on government, employers and employees?

By Rob Flello

Oliver Twist was published in 1837 – the period which marked the end of the first Industrial Revolution. In the following fifty years, Britain underwent enormous social change and innovation. The country saw the growth of huge disparities between the riches of a small elite and the mass destitution of the working classes. By 1889, the London Dockers were on strike for their tanner: Cardinal Manning went on to successfully mediate in the dispute.

Just two years later, in 1891, Rerum Novarum was published. Pope Leo XIII wrote, “working [people] have been surrendered, isolated and helpless, to the hardheartedness of employers and the greed of unchecked competition…a small number of [the] very rich have been able to lay upon the teaming masses of the laboring poor a yoke little better than that of slavery itself” (1).

In this way, Catholic Social Teaching makes some quite specific demands on government, employers and employees. At its simplest it requires them to act in the best interests of each other to avoid excessive greed and to look out for the well being of the people. It seeks dignity for all and the self-respect of those concerned.

The right to work

Former Vice-President of the USA, Joe Biden, is not alone when he notes his father’s advice that, “a job is about more than a paycheck. It’s about your dignity. It’s about respect. It’s about your place in your community”. According to the Mental Health Foundation ,“being in work is important for everyone’s health and well-being; it gives us a purpose…, promotes independence, allows us to develop social contacts, and is a factor in preventing both physical and mental health problems” (2).  Clearly, the right to work has many important aspects. Work can improve self-esteem and confidence, reducing depression and psychological distress.

Most of the obligations on employers flow from the rights of their workers. Employers should look on their workers as in a relationship with them of mutual need and support, not simply as commodities in themselves, as a slave master would.

The role of the State

Throughout Catholic Social Teaching, the Church is very clear on the need for a strong state with the ability to intervene to maintain justice. It is also clear that the State should not overstep the mark and interfere wrongly in family, property and other aspects of life.

In the UK, legislation has been introduced regulating working hours, the age of child employment and the right to paid time off, as well as maternity and paternity leave. In addition to National Minimum Wage, we have pay and gender equality laws and wide-ranging employment and health and safety legislation. There is also some regulation over the markets and businesses. But what we don’t have is any regulation covering zero hours contracts, which are widely regarded as being grossly unfair to the employee in favour of the employer. Moreover, there is tension around free trade deals, free movement of labour and market deregulation. If UK employers are free to bring in workers who are able to under-cut the terms and conditions of the existing workforce, then I consider that is also in direct contravention of Rerum Novarum and its successor encyclicals, and harms both the existing workers and those coming to take the jobs.


Note 1 – Pope Leo XIII, Rerum Novarum, 3 (1891)

Note 2 – Mental Health Foundation, ‘Employment is vital for maintaining good mental health’ (2012)

Rob Flello is a political consultant, former Labour Member of Parliament for Stoke South and former shadow Justice Minister. This blog post is a shorter version of a speech given at ‘Working for a Better Future’, at the Mechanics’ Institute in Manchester, on 1 May 2018.

The opinions and positions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Caritas Social Action Network.





Catholic women in Kidderminster reach out to new mothers


By Teresa Clements, Newcomer Coordinator, Father Hudson’s Care

The Union of Catholic Mothers (UCM) in the parish of St Ambrose in Kidderminster is a lively and welcoming group at the heart of the local community, which meets fortnightly in the parish hall.

During Lent, members of the group showed their generosity of spirit in contributing to the ‘Welcoming the Stranger’ initiative of Father Hudson’s Care (CSAN member), which provides focused support for refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants.

In practical solidarity with expectant mothers newly arrived in the country, UCM members knitted beautifully-made warm baby clothes. They also contributed many essential items for mothers and babies. Brushstrokes is distributing these to refugee women living in Sandwell and Birmingham.

Tea dance in Stoke brings generations together


By Helen McCarroll, Father Hudson’s Care

On 19 March 2018, primary schoolchildren from St Peter’s Catholic Academy, Cobridge, joined older people for an afternoon of intergenerational singing and dancing.

The students visited the Hanley Young at Heart Club, run by Father Hudson’s Care (CSAN member charity), for an event inspired by Signal 1 Radio’s Don’t Dance Alone campaign. The children and older people enjoyed their time talking, singing and dancing together to live music.

This event was the brainchild of Jackie Kelsall, Family Support Worker at St Peter’s Catholic Academy, and Matt Ford, Project Co-ordinator at Young at Heart.

They were joined by Community Champions from Tesco, Hanley, who put on refreshments for the children. Tesco is a regular supporter of the Young at Heart project and were pleased to assist with this collaborative event.

Matt Ford said, “All the older people enjoyed it very much and have asked if the children can come back again. They said the children were lovely and very well mannered. I think the most enjoyable thing for me was seeing everyone in the room, old and young, mixing together and dancing. They all had smiles on their faces, which is what it’s all about.”

Young at Heart offers a range of services to combat social isolation faced by older people in Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire. The Hanley group is one of four social groups held locally, with a fifth opening in April.

Sleeping out in Durham for youth homelessness


By Anna Couper, Community Fundraising Manager, Depaul UK

As the sun set on Durham Cathedral on a relatively balmy night for mid-October 2017, I prepared to join 140 others who were sleeping out to raise money for Depaul UK and our vital emergency overnight accommodation service Nightstop.

There are few things in life that make us feel truly vulnerable. Sleeping on a stone floor, in the cloisters of a cathedral, with only my sleeping bag for comfort was one of them. And to know that this was only a fraction of the emotional turmoil that a young person might face sleeping on the streets was sobering.

I had access to a toilet, running water, and people looking after my security and wellbeing. For many, it is a much lonelier and scarier experience, and one that does not end when the sun comes up. Instead, the dawn only brings another day of uncertainty and danger. As I tried to shake out my aching muscles and wash away the chill that had settled over me as I tried to sleep, I could not shake off the feeling that for someone else this morning, the future felt empty, hopeless, and broken. That those experiencing homelessness lose far more than their security. It takes away their identity, confidence, and strength to keep going.

Depaul UK wants to change that. Founded on the values exemplified by Saint Vincent de Paul, our charity supports young people facing homelessness in the UK. And like St Vincent 400 years ago, Depaul reaches out to bring light into even the most difficult and complicated situations.

I think of Ashleigh, one of the many young people with whom Depaul works. Following the death of her mother to cancer, Ashleigh, who was aged just six, moved in with her aunt and eventually her grandmother. Sadly, Ashleigh’s grandmother was dependent on alcohol, having never recovered from the tragic loss of her daughter. After a difficult time and many arguments, Ashleigh found herself moving out and sofa-surfing, unable to return home. She was only 16.

“Then I found Depaul Nightstop.” Ashleigh discovered our emergency hosting service. She recalls. “I started to realise how it felt to be a part of a family!”

Now living in her own flat, with continuing support from Depaul, Ashleigh is confident and excited about the future. She adds: “I can honestly say I would not be the lady I am today if it wasn’t for Depaul.” Depaul is committed to not only meeting the urgent needs of vulnerable young people, but helping them discover their potential, and their value.

Sadly, her story could have been very different. It is estimated that in London alone there are 12,000 “hidden homeless”, most of them young people.

In Rome, thousands gathered on 14 October 2017, to hear Pope Francis, as he received the Vincentian family, calling us to adore, welcome and go forward to serve – a call we are committed to follow. With Depaul, we can be the light in the darkness to thousands of young people going to sleep afraid and alone tonight. We can be the answer, the friendly face, the family.

I will sleep out again, not simply because of the challenge (it was amazing and exhausting) but because if I sleep out, and others join me, through donating, volunteering and praying, it means that another young person won’t have to.

Picture: Durham Cathedral, medieval door knocker for people seeking sanctuary