Refugee families housed in 'dangerous' Sheffield hostel, says campaigner

Refugee children are being housed in a 'dangerous ' Sheffield hostel, says a campaigner.

Tuesday, 11th December 2018, 10:15 am
Updated Tuesday, 11th December 2018, 10:20 am
Earl Marshall Guest House

Academic researcher John Grayson has attacked Sheffield Council for housing families in the Earl Marshall Guest House on Grimesthorpe Road, which he says is unsuitable.

Councillors say they are working to arrange alternative accomodation but there is simply not enough homes in the city and a lack of funding.

Mr Grayson handed a petition with 60 signatures to full council and said: 'Every one of you is responsible for putting refugees children in the Earl Marshall and it's a very dangerous place.

'It is nearly all single men recovering from drug problems or sometimes coming out of prison and given emergency accommodation. Most of the families and children in there are refugees and they have to share toilets and queue for showers with these men.

'Children are going in there on a routine basis. There is a Libyan family and when they approached the council, they offered them the Earl Marshall. They told them to make their own way there and when they asked about their belongings and their four children, the council said it was their problem.

'They had to put their furniture in storage. Four children and two adults spent two weeks in one room. Most families have to live in one room and it's totally and utterly disgraceful.

'There's no safeguarding or trained staff. I understand homeless families sometimes have to go into a hostel but it should not be the Earl Marshall.'

Coun Jim Steinke said he disputed that families were placed there 'routinely'. He said: 'There are nine families in there and they have all been matched to properties. Four are due to move out shortly and five don't yet have an agreed date.

'We have given a commitment to move towards alternative accommodation, two properties are being built and another is being refurbished. Other hostels may be selective in what they want to provide and may be full.

'A number of refugee families are being given Leave to Remain but there are no public funds to support them. You should be protesting about this to Whitehall.'

Coun Jackie Drayton said the Earl Marshall had been inspected as suitable housing for families and there were monitoring visits.

She said: 'We don't have enough properties for every family. We have said very clearly we only put families with children in any B&B when there is nowhere else for them to go. What can we do?'