Ocalenie Foundation invites families with refugee experience who are at risk of homelessness to apply for the „Welcome Home” program in Warsaw.
In this recruitment, it is planned to accept up to 10 families to the program, including a maximum of 4 families that are in the process of applying for refugee status.
The aim of the program is for the participants to start living independently in Poland within 2 years, so that after this time continuous rigourous help is not necessary.
Before submitting your questions, please read the following information and other recruitment documents carefully:
- scoring table of points awarded during the recruitment process
- table of rent subsidies
- online application form
If your question is not answered in these documents, please send your questions only to the following address: [email protected]
The program is aimed at people who meet all of the following criteria:
- are currently staying in Poland and have already been granted refugee status, subsidiary protection, residence permit for humanitarian reasons, permit for tolerated stay, or are in the process of applying for refugee status,
- families, including single parents with children,
- living in Warsaw or adjacent counties, or soon have to leave an open or closed center for foreigners,
- are at risk of homelessness,
- want to get actively involved in working towards integration and independent living in Poland – information about the obligations of the participants,
- can reach independence within 2 years.
- 2 years of individual support customized to the needs of the family,
- continuous support of the Integration Specialist – a person supporting the participants in gaining independence
- rent subsidies (according to the table) – a written rental agreement is required, as well as the possibility of transferring the rent payments directly to the landlord’s account, financial support may be reduced or suspended in the event of failure by the participants to comply with the arrangements made with the Foundation; in the second year of the program the amount of subsidy is reduced, subsidies are not granted to persons participating in the Individual Integration Program (Indywidualny Program Integracji),
- mandatory polish language courses (up to B1 level)
- access to the remaining services of the Foundation, including assistance of cultural mentors at the Help Center for Foreigners, legal and psychological aid.
Recruitment process: (participation in the recruitment process does not guarantee being accepted to the program)
- individually applying via the online application form (application deadline: February 17 2022)
- preliminary interview with an employee of the Foundation, which can result in an invitation to further recruitment process or rejection of the applications that do not meet the requirements,
- an in-depth recruitment interview with an employee of the Foundation regarding the family’s situation,
- evaluation of applications by the Foundation’s committee, and awarding scores (scoring table) – this decision can not be appealed,
- decision of the committee: by March 16th 2022
- families that do not receive an invitation to the program may still use other services offered by the Foundation,
- families that receive an invitation to further recruitment process are invited fist to a 3-months trial period (in case of new places opening up in the program during the trial period, the Foundation might offer participation in the program to other families, according to the order based on the number of points acquired during the recruitment process)
- trial period:
- duration: 3 months
- possibility of an extension up to 6 months
- starting cooperation with an Integration Specialist and creating an action plan
- rent subsidies according to the table of subsidies – only after moving (in case of having to change the place of residence at the beginning of trial period)
- during the trial period the Foundation makes a decision regarding further participation in the program – this decision can not be appealed.
During the program, participants in cooperation with the Integration Specialist will assess their progress in the implementation of the action plan every three months. Further support from the Foundation depends on the degree to which participants are actively engaged in the implementation of the plan. The program is split into following stages:
- 1 year of the program (12 months after the trial period)
- 2 year of the program (12 months after the end of first year): decrease of subsidies according to the table
- summarizing the participation so far and completion of the program – in the last 3 months of the second year
- possibility of continuation of support after the second year (up to 12 months) in exceptional cases: crisis situations that prevent further normal functioning of the family, an increased need for care over a child / children, receiving a positive decision on social / communal housing and waiting for an allocation, and the risk of losing the allocation in case of leaving the current apartment.
Cooperation with an Integration Specialist:
- continuous contact from all the family members (phone calls depending on necessity, but on average twice a week, and at least two meetings per month)
- openness, including readiness to share and deal with difficult matters,
- readiness to talk about family budget, including learning how to plan a budget, and sharing information on incomes and expenses of the family,
- creating an action plan together with an Integration Specialist, main goal of which will be achieving independence by the family within 2 years, and joint evaluation of the progress made
- making continuous efforts to improve the family’s situation, including obtaining and maintaining legal employment.
Other detailed information:
Ad 1) Individuals currently in the process of applying for a residence permit for humanitarian reasons after receiving a negative decision on international protection may also apply.
In the case of participants whose procedure has not been completed (those who are still „in the procedure”), it will be necessary to obtain a positive opinion of the Foundation’s legal team on having a basis for applying for a refugee status or a humanitarian stay. In those cases, it will be necessary to provide the employee with information about the reasons for applying for protection. In case of joining the program, such participants will be assisted by the Foundation’s legal team. The program has a limited number of places for families who are in the process of applying for international protection or humanitarian stay: number of such families can not make up more than 40% of all the places in the program.
Individuals who have already received a residence permit for humanitarian reasons or tolerated stay permit, and are at the same time applying for a refugee status and are entitled to social aid from the Office for Foreigners may not apply.
Ad 2) The program is not meant for single people or childless couples. In case of single parents applying, it is required for the parent to be able to take up employment.
Ad 3) The recruitment process is open to families who are already living in Warsaw, or families that are moving to Warsaw from nearby counties, or families forced to leave an open or closed center for foreigners (this requirement must be met within the first month of the trial period).
In case of acceptance to the program it is necessary for the family to live in a location which would allow for regular visits at the Foundation’s office in the central part of Warsaw. In case of families applying from outside of Warsaw there might be a need to come to Warsaw for the interview.
We strongly discourage moving to Warsaw only to apply for the program, because in case of passing the first stage of recruitment, support is provided only for 3 months during the trial period, and may not be extended.
Ad 4) The program does not provide support in case of crisis. It is required to have previously arranged accommodation for at least one month at the moment of applying, and to be able to look for a new apartment independently. Accommodation aid consists mainly of rent subsidies, and is not meant to provide an apartment or temporary shelter.
Being at risk of homelessness includes following situations:
- a serious risk of losing the right to a housing unit in the next 2 months (including due to debt, a terminated lease agreement, permanent loss of income or social welfare benefits making it impossible to continue to use a housing unit, eviction order) and lack of funds for renting an apartment at market prices,
- a serious risk of losing accommodation currently provided by a facility, including an obligation to leave a center for foreigners, or a facility supporting persons at risk of suffering abuse in the next 2 months,
- living in a housing unit without being legally entitled to it (without a rental agreement), and no possibility to formalize legal rights to it,
- living in conditions unsuitable for living (e.g. in an apartment without heating, without ventilation, without access to hot water) and lack of funds for renting a suitable apartment at market prices,
- living in overcrowded conditions and lack of funds for renting a suitable flat at market prices.
Ad 5) Participants’ obligations:
- agreement to the creation of a publicly available family profile on the website www.witajwdomu.org.pl containing basic information and a drawing of the family prepared in consultation with the family and approved by it, and with care for the safety and dignity of family members – the information and appearance of people are changed
- striving for integration in Poland, including learning the skills necessary for independent living, seeking legal employment
- cooperating with an Integration Specialist
- attending Polish language courses provided by the Foundation (mandatory for speakers below B1 level)
- taking care of the health and wellbeing of all family members
- attending school by all underage family members (mandatory in Poland for all minors under 18 years old)
- using other services offered by the Foundation, including support of cultural mentors at the Help Center for Foreigners, psychological support and legal assistance, in case of need and according to the arrangements.
Ad 6) Rent subsidies are meant to provide basic security, so that participants can concentrate on improving their situation and try to gain independence. Therefore, the program is aimed only at families in which
- initially, at least one parent is able take up continuous legal employment,
- eventually (during the program), both parents and other adults out of school can take up permanent legal employment.
The program is not intended to take over the responsibility of the public social welfare system for helping people and families unable to take up permanent employment, including for health reasons. People in such a situation may use other forms of support provided by the Foundation.