In the past few years, we have expanded our organisation and added the Homes for Ukraine Sustainment Service, based in Polegate. This team’s core goal is homeless prevention as they work to support Ukrainian refugees being hosted across Sussex, as well as the hosts themselves. Oksana is one of the many Ukrainian women we have supported who have had to move to the UK due to war. This is her story.

Oksana is a 45-year-old woman who arrived in the UK with her teenage daughter. They were placed with a host in Sussex and lived there for a year. However, due to the host suffering health issues, Oksana and her daughter needed to move out and find somewhere else to live.

Oksana was enrolled in a full-time college programme to learn English, whilst her daughter attended a local secondary school. Oksana was only working a few hours a week due to her limited English, so was not in a stable financial position to be able to rent within the private sector, due to her low income.

The local authority supported Oksana and her daughter into temporary accommodation, which is when BHT Sussex’s Homes for Ukraine Sustainment Service began helping Oksana. We supported her to seek a new host placement and within a few weeks, Oksana and her daughter were able to move out of temporary accommodation and into a long-term host placement.

Our service was able to support the family with meeting their new host and settling in, which can be intimidating due to language and cultural differences. It went well and Oksana and her daughter settled in quickly. They were grateful for the help of HFUSS as it made the process feel less stressful.

Oksana plans to continue to improve her English so that she can get a better job, allowing her and her daughter to move into their own accommodation together. HFUSS will be able to offer Oksana any continuous support she may need, such as helping set household bills up, finding properties in the private sector and connecting with her community.

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