Community groups are raising concerns over Ukrainian refugees becoming homeless in the UK after falling out with their sponsors and hosts.

Many Ukrainian refugees who have escaped the Russian invasion and fled to the United Kingdom are now becoming homeless and destitute after their relationships with their sponsors and hosts at Homes for Ukraine have broken down. Community organizations are sounding the alarm on the possibility of the system crashing entirely after reports of Ukrainian refugees being asked to leave the homes of their sponsors in as short as one day, forcing them to live on the streets or seek last-minute rentals.

According to The Guardian, these incidents are typically happening among well-meaning hosts or sponsors who may have not properly prepared or fully understood the commitment of hosting refugees in their homes until they actually arrived, adding stress to the already traumatized Ukrainian refugees. The report said that there were more factors as to why Ukrainian refugees are experiencing fallouts with their UK sponsors, such as "costs, personality and cultural clashes, hosts not setting house rules, misunderstandings and communication problems."

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Number of Ukrainian Refugees Leaving their UK Sponsors Increasing

The Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain board member Iryna Terlecky reported that their community is seeing more and more cases of Ukrainian refugees becoming homeless after falling out with their UK sponsors and said that it is "increasing" as time passes by. They also reported similar issues in those who arrived through the Ukraine family scheme, as they have encountered problems with space and broken down relationships. Terlecky said that "sponsorship relationships are breaking down - in spite of the very clear desire of people to help."

A 43 year old Ukrainian woman reported that she was forced to resort to homelessness after being turned away by her Homes for Ukraine UK sponsors after a little more than a week. In the beginning, they all got along well but when she went to meet a man she met online, her UK sponsors accused her of lying. The Local Government Association admitted that there has been a "concerning increase" in Ukrainian refugees presenting as homeless and called for an urgent rematching process to help them find homes.

Since the beginning of the Russian invasion into Ukraine, more than six million Ukrainian refugees have fled the war-stricken country, as per the United Nations refugee agency, Al Jazeera reported. Many refugees have traveled to neighboring countries before flying out to another destination. Poland has hosted the largest number of Ukrainian refugees since their exodus in February. Up to 90% of the Ukrainian refugees are women and children, as most men aged 18 to 60 were unable to leave Ukraine as they were eligible for military service.

The UN has estimated that more than eight million people may flee Ukraine this year, while another eight million have been internally displaced within the country, as per the International Organization for Migration.

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