Fatima House is a partnership project offering shelter to female asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute and homeless. Located in Birmingham, up to eleven women can be housed there at any one time.
More than merely a roof over their heads, it offers a warm welcome and friendship. Regular activities and house meetings create a nurturing community and sense of home. Fatima House offers a safe place for the women to stay while they receive support with their asylum claims.
Specialist agencies, including Restore, Migrant Help, St Chad’s Sanctuary, Brushstrokes, Asirt, the British Red Cross and others, refer women to Fatima House. These agencies continue to support the women with their asylum claim and moving their lives forward.
Fatima House has an ongoing need for donations of essential items, particularly toiletries, household cleaning products and non-perishable food. Tinned vegetables are especially welcomed. If you wish to donate items, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Father Hudson’s Care on 01675 434000.
You can also donate to Fatima House via Father Hudson’s JustGiving page – please specify that you would like the money to go to Fatima House.
How Fatima House came into being
The project began in 2015 when the Archdiocese was considering how to respond to the refugee crisis. During this time, it became apparent there was a need to support destitute refugees and asylum seekers already living in the Diocese. To respond to this, a Birmingham priest offered a parish building he felt was too big for his needs. The Archdiocese decided to use this building to house homeless asylum seekers.
Caritas Archdiocese of Birmingham led the initial stages of the project and brought together the partner organisations to develop and oversee it. Father Hudson’s Care researched the work needed to make the building suitable for its new purpose, and the Archdiocese paid for the renovations. The Columban Missionaries offered to manage the running of Fatima House on a day-to-day basis. And parish volunteers donated items for the first arrivals.
After months of hard work, Fatima House welcomed its first two women in July 2016. By its official launch in November 2016, it was almost full with nine women living there.
Providing ongoing support
In July 2018 Fatima House celebrated its second anniversary. The partner organisations continue to meet regularly as a management committee and steering group. They assist with fundraising, collate donations and manage referrals. Father Hudson’s Care supports the governance, building and financial management. And the Columban Missionaries manage the project on a day-to-day basis, ensuring it runs smoothly and the women are well supported.
Volunteers from the parish and the St Vincent de Paul Society support the women staying there through befriending. The St Vincent de Paul Society also provides access to a small weekly Financial Support Fund. Many other groups, organisations and individuals donate food, clothes and toiletries and household items.