You Can’t Stay Here – The Accommodation Issue for Trafficked Young People

A trafficked young person named Moon* has just turned 18 in our Survivor Care Program, and their current accommodation has allowed her feel safe and loved – at last. While turning 18 wouldn’t mean many changes for young people living in care, for Moon*, a non-British national, it means big changes.

……She is terrified at the prospect and has threatened to run away.

Children’s Services in charge of Moon’s care want to move her to cheaper accommodation but far away from her community and the carers she has come to love.

This is not unusual, and finding safe and suitable accommodation when a young person leaves the ‘system’ is an on-going challenge. The risks of them being re-trafficked is always there.

A Love146 UK care workers story;

“My sense of urgency about finding a way for her to stay safe and supported in her community has never been more clear……

….I was one of five children in a household where money was always tight and savings accounts for each of us weren’t in the plan. I never expected to go to college. But I managed to secure a spot at a prestigious university due to good test scores.”

Scraping together enough money to pay for the first year was only possible because of a small inheritance that my mother had received. She put it all towards my school, but it still fell short. …..

…..When my friends and I parted ways at the end of our first year, I made plans with the rest of them, sure I’d return to school in the autumn. But my family couldn’t afford university fees any longer.

The week that I should have returned to university, my parents told me that they had tried to come up with funds but had been unsuccessful…… I would have to drop out of school.

I’m sure that’s part of the reason that Moon’s situation resonates with me so much.

It was hard to look around at a place where I felt like I belonged — but have external circumstances say that you don’t belong there.

To realise that the people you have come to think of as family can be plucked out of your life so easily.”

“The habits and structure I created were apparently so fragile.”……

“But, while my situation was unfortunate, Moon’s* is a matter of safety. The implications for her are external and immediate.”

“The work she has put in goes far beyond learning Latin conjugations and into breaking years of ingrained trauma.”

A home for Moon* is something within reach. It’s possible. It’s just not easy.

We journey with survivors for as long as they need us. We don’t close a case. But the challenges of supporting and finding accomodation for a trafficked young person are heavy. In fact, it’s too heavy for Moon*, and it’s even too heavy for Love146 UK to carry alone. 

Moon* is one of the many unaccompanied children in our care that are in need of stable and safe accomodation. And, it’s with your support this can be possible.

A gift of support from you will mean that Moon* and vunlerable young people like her, can stay just down the road from her Love146 UK carers – in her own warm and cosy home. She can have the support she still needs to stay safe – in her own community. 

It will mean that we never need to have a conversation with young people in our care where we say;

“We’ve tried really hard, but you can’t stay here.” 

*name changed for anonymity

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