Emergency Accommodation

 

We offer safe and secure emergency accommodation if you are experiencing domestic violence and/or abuse. Our emergency accommodation consists of refuges and independent, dispersed houses. These are safe spaces that you can move to away from your abuser(s). We can support people from Leeds or elsewhere in the UK in our accommodation.

At our refuges, our experienced workers can support you with dealing with the effects of domestic violence and abuse, as well as practical issues like sorting out money, accessing other support, and securing housing.

Though we have women-only refuges, we also have emergency accommodation suitable for people of all genders. We also have accommodation suitable for families. 

Below is a step-by-step guide of what accessing our refuge accommodation might be like. The drop-down boxes give more in-depth answers to FAQs about our refuge accommodation.

24 Hour Helpline

0113 246 0401

Accessing our support and next steps

You can access this service by contacting the LDVS 24-hour helpline on 0113 246 0401, emailing us at [email protected]. You can also ask any professionals you’re working with to refer you.

We will talk to you or get in touch with you at a time that’s safe for you to find out how we can best help. If you are eligible for emergency accommodation, we will discuss with you what your needs are to make sure we can meet them in our refuges.

 

We will discuss together as a team and then get back in touch with you to offer you a place or refer you elsewhere if we need to.

 

If our accommodation is suitable for you, we will help to organise and give you the support you need for moving into one of our spaces. Please read below for more detail.

“It provided me with a comfortable safe space which respected my privacy with support when I needed it. I am forever grateful for this opportunity to rebuild a safe future for myself and secure safe housing”

Kal, Harehills

“Having a safe and “unknown to others” place to stay has given me the space to recover from the shock of realising that I was in an abusive relationship and to find some stability and confidence in myself to move on with the next stage of my life. The support and help given by my support worker has been an invaluable part of the process”

Naomie, Cross Gates

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens once I have been referred into emergency accommodation?

Once you have been referred, we will discuss with you what your needs are to make sure we can meet them. We will discuss together as a team and then get back in touch with you to offer you a place or refer you elsewhere if needed.

We have to ensure that we have the right space for you so will look at how many children you have, if you have any disabilities, where you are currently fleeing from to make sure you are a safe distance from your current home and various other safety issues. We do ask a lot of questions but please be aware that it is only to ensure that we can support you in the best way possible.

Is your emergency accommodation safe and friendly for everyone?

Our refuges are secure and are considered exceptionally safe.

We also work hard to make our refuges as friendly and inclusive as possible. If you have mobility issues we have 2 flats that are mobility friendly and a lift to use to access both the office and the ramp outside. You also will have a phone line directly to the office. We also have one room available for someone needing full-time care.

What will it be like moving my belongings in and/or getting new belongings if I need them?

You can bring some belongings with you but unfortunately not white goods or furniture. When in refuge we can support you to access furniture and white goods ready for when you move on to a new home. Each property in refuge is completely furnished and equipped, ready to move into.

What will it be like living there? Will I be living independently or with support?

All our refuges are classed as “supported housing”. This means that when you come into our service you will be allocated a support worker to support you while in refuge and to move on to a new home when you are ready. Your support worker will work with you to create a support plan around things that you would like to work on, including anything like bills, debts, accessing health, education, legal advice, benefits, immigration issues, support for children and young people. We will also look at any risks you face and how we can manage this risk with you.

In all of our accommodation you are completely free to come and go as you please. You can cook food and clean clothes etc whenever works for you. We do not oversee how you live on a day-to-day basis and only ask that you follow the tenancy rules and respect other people living in the building if you are in shared accommodation like refuge.

Can my children move with me?

Yes, we will look at each family as an individual case to see how we can help you, whether at our refuge or independent, dispersed housing. If we are unable to offer a space, we will do our best to help refer you to another service that can.

We also have Children and Young People workers, who can support children and young people to ensure their needs are met. Each property in refuge is completely furnished and equipped ready to move into with rooms and spaces suitable for families and toys and activities available.

Can my pets move with me?

We do have some dispersed properties where we can discuss you being able to bring a small pet but we cannot have pets in the main refuges. We will do our very best to support you with pet fostering and offer advice and support around this. We will always accept Assistance Dogs and registered “Helping Hands” dogs.

What kind of help will I get at refuge?

The help and support you will be able to access is based both on your immediate needs and risk and your wishes and desires in moving forward. We will always work with you to create a support plan that works best for you.

We will initially support you around things that you might need urgently, like maximizing your benefits, and accessing a GP, dentist, and showing you where shops, places of worship, community centres and other local places are.

We can also support with legal issues and refer you to legal specialists and immigration support if needed. If you are not comfortable speaking in English, we have access to translators to make sure you fully understand our services and will always use one wherever we are offering support if needed.

We will also work with you on better understanding domestic violence and abuse and issues surrounding it, as well as working together with you on things like developing skills around staying safe.

Children and Young People’s worker will support you to access schools, nursery places, medical care, transport to school and uniforms ready for school admissions. They can also offer one-to-one sessions with your children and can work with them to identify what they would like support with.

Support is booked at a time and date suitable for you and is led by you and your needs. You have the right to change meetings or ask for meetings at any time and we will work with you to create a support plan that works for you.

Who else will I be living with? Will I have to share my space with them?

Some of our Refuges have some communal space. You will always have your own bedroom in these refuges but may have to share other facilities. There are also communal lounges and gardens with play equipment for you to meet up with others living in the refuge if you chose to. Our support workers can answer all these questions for you in more detail prior to moving in.

In our largest refuge, you will have your own self-contained flat. We also have 14 dispersed properties across Leeds, which are self-contained, fully equipped and furnished. These are flats and houses, which are a part of the community. You will still have a panic button in your home, which goes directly to a call centre if you are at risk, as well as an internal phone linked to the office.

Who will I work with at the refuge? Will anyone else know / be informed that I am living there? I am concerned about my safety.

You will be allocated a support worker whom you can ask to change at any time, as we all know that you don’t always get on with everyone and we want you to be comfortable with the person you are working with.

The only people who will know where you are are the staff in the service, your GP, your Health Visitor (if you have one), your Social Worker (if you have one), schools, the benefits office (but they are bound by GDPR and know not to let anyone know about your whereabouts) and anyone else you chose to tell. We ask that you only use the PO Box address for correspondence and do not give the actual address out to anyone. This is to ensure that all refuge residents can stay safe.

The whole organisation is covered by GDPR which means we will check every call and your consent before speaking to anyone about you. You will be asked to sign a consent form to say who we can or cannot speak to about you.

We will not inform anyone else of your whereabouts unless it is a safeguarding issue. We will talk with you in more depth about this when you come in and make sure you understand and are comfortable with all guidelines.

How long will the support last for?

You will be issued with a licence agreement or an Assured Shorthold tenancy depending on which refuge you move into. We will support you to move when you are ready.

When you feel ready, we will support you to bid for local authority properties weekly but we expect most people will move to private rented housing from refuge due to shortage of local authority housing across West Yorkshire and we will help you to look for private lets. You will know when you are ready and when you have left we will offer 6 weeks resettlement support in your new property. You can also access other parts of our service once you have left our refuge if it is suitable for you, like our group work.

Some women choose to go back to their previous homes and again we will not judge you if you do this, we will support you to do it in a safe way.

I need help now

Click here for more information on what to do if you need help now.

How we can help

Click here to find out more about the different kinds of support Leeds Domestic Violence Service provides.

Resources

 

Click here to explore resources for those affected by, or supporting someone affected by, domestic violence and abuse.