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No one cares about me’: Ukrainian refugee sleeping rough in street says council has abandoned him

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A Ukrainian refugee, Sergiy, has revealed the harrowing reality of sleeping rough on the streets of West London after becoming homeless. Sergiy, aged 44, arrived in the UK under the Homes for Ukraine scheme, but his life took a distressing turn as he found himself with no place to call home.

For several nights now, Sergiy has been seeking shelter in a sleeping bag beside Ealing Station. When he spoke to LBC on Friday, he was preparing for another night on a cold sheet of cardboard, which he had managed to scrounge up for a modicum of comfort. The fear for his safety looms large as he said, “How can I sleep? There are lots of strange people passing by.”

Sergiy’s plight took a darker turn when he attempted to reach out to Ealing Council, the local authority initially responsible for him upon his arrival in the UK. He claimed, “No one cares about me.” The despair in his voice was evident as he described his predicament.

In his quest for safety, Sergiy befriended another homeless individual who promised to “keep watch” while he slept, guarding his precious documents and belongings. Losing these documents, he knew, would leave him with nothing and nowhere to turn.

Sergiy’s journey to this dire situation began when he fled the war in Ukraine and found refuge in the UK through the Homes for Ukraine scheme. Initially residing in Ealing, his relationship with his host soured, and he found a temporary solution in Ireland. However, when that arrangement ended, he was left with no alternatives but to return to Ealing, believing that the council had a responsibility to assist him.

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His attempts to contact Ealing Council for alternative accommodation have gone unanswered, leaving him in a state of confusion and despair. He pleaded, “I wish they would just tell me clearly why. Something doesn’t work.”

Despite the challenges he faces, Sergiy has managed to stay relatively safe thus far, but the fear of encountering danger constantly haunts him. “You don’t know who you are going to see—I am scared somebody will smash my head in,” he confessed.

To compound his struggles, Sergiy’s efforts to access foodbank vouchers have also hit roadblocks, as he has been told he must wait 3-7 days for a referral. Officially registered as homeless, Sergiy’s story sheds light on the hardships faced by many refugees in their pursuit of safety and stability.

LBC reached out to Ealing Council on Friday in light of Sergiy’s situation and is awaiting a response, raising questions about the support system for vulnerable refugees in the UK.

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Birminghamgist Staff is a News Reporter, making waves in the UK with insightful and Engaging reporting.

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