For accomodation call 24hrs, 7 days: 07570 877817

Shelter poem

Two years and counting.

For us shelter is a present continuous verb…not a noun. As migrant women our specialism is to carve out safe spaces of transient belonging for women with no recourse to public funds. 

Ubuntu is a group of us who have got together to put in our labour to sustain safe spaces of transient belonging for our guests who come across borders.  This city welcomes our guests with cold streets, grey skies, fear and precarity. Ubuntu offers another welcome.

Statement on The Hostile Environment and Pandemic

Our statement on the Hostile Environment & the pandemic:


Over the last eight years, the enforcement of Hostile Environment policies by the UK Home Office has ‘successfully’ demeaned, isolated and impoverished migrants (of any status). This finely tuned enforcement apparatus now combined with self-isolation and pervasive fear opens up stark choices for destitute womxn with no recourse to public funds – police brutality on the streets or the brutality that comes from being locked up with sexual predators, without bank accounts or disposable incomes womxn with families are choosing to ration scarce food supplies, starve or risk infecting their households with trips to empty food banks.

Let us not forget that even before Covid -19, hostile environment policies- indefinite detention and deportations – were designed to contain the contagion these ‘illegals’ and ‘aliens’ would bring to our neighbourhoods and cities. The logic of this policy was that if we treated migrants with dignity, gave them rights to decent housing, bank accounts, rights to work and access to free healthcare, education, public funds while their claims were being considered they would refuse to leave. What we have seen is that the intended consequence of the policy was instead to create a precarious, racialized underclass with womxn bearing the brunt of the draconian imperatives of this state policy.

Over the last few days we have seen how the Scottish Parliament’s bureaucratic delays in rolling out a clear destitution response to COVID-19 means councils can brush off responsibility for housing and feeding womxn with no recourse to public funds despite the obvious public health and safety issues. This institutional inertia has a daily human cost as womxn with little or no resources struggle to find their next piece of food and a safe place to avoid infection, sexual predation and violence.

In the eighth largest economy on the planet we demand to know where are our safe spaces, our community housing projects, our communal food kitchens to prevent hunger, starvation, disease, sexual abuse and violence, destitution and death? Why do our fellow human beings have to depend on the fickle, self-interested charitable handouts of supermarket conglomerates and why is food, secure accommodation and dignity still not a human right irrespective of immigration status?

As another night falls we stay on our phones whispering, reassuring the womxn at the other end of the line as she hides in a corner somewhere, praying that this will be the night when she can safely close her eyes and dream of a better world. This is unacceptable!

We demand an immediate end to the Hostile Environment policy


UWS at the Edinburgh Anarchist Feminist Bookfair

Decolonising ‘A No Borders Manifesto’

Date: Saturday June 29th

Venue: City of Edinburgh Methodist Church, NIcholson Square

Accessibility: Physically accessible, contact for more information

Childcare: Book your space here

Directions/Travel: Detailed information here

Introductory talk by Dania Thomas of Ubuntu Women Shelter and the Unity Centre, followed by a practical hands on session aimed at generating alternative ‘no borders’ narratives informed by the lived experience of the hostile environment.
The ‘no-borders manifesto’ we uncritically rely on in our activism and define our strategic intervention with the state is defined by the violence of sustaining state borders, though it is necessary to keep this violence in sight at all times we overlook:

  1. the sustaining and nurturing resistance to and redefinition of borders in our everyday lives and practical politics, and
  2. our own complicity in perpetuating violence and exploitation through unconscious acts of everyday racism and gender violence.

This talk argues that the ‘no borders manifesto’ that we adopt reinforces centuries of colonial erasure of lived experience and as such hardwires white saviour and white guilt. This hardwiring is evidenced as a focus on political borders which overlooks centuries of institutional sedimentation to facilitate the unimpeded flows of financial capital to the ‘global north’ extracting value from the ‘global south’. These unimpeded flows have re-configured political borders, what we see in our work is evidence of only one border – ‘a border’ between the rich and the poor- the underclass – the invisible (‘the illegal migrant’) and the strategically visible (‘the asylum-seeker’ and ‘the good migrant’). In our work we engage with whole universes of possibility, ferment, creativity and care at capital’s border between ‘visible’ and ‘invisible’ labour. At this border, the most pressing practical problem we face relates to representing strategic invisibility. In this hands-on discussion we hope to engender activist strategies to re-direct resource flows that sustain, celebrate and politicize strategic invisibility as practical support.

Volunteer training sessions – July

Ubuntu will run two volunteer training sessions in July.
Sunday 7th July ,10- 4pm
Thursday 25th July, 5-9pm
If you wish to join us please fill in volunteer application form on our website and email back the form to us at least 48 hours before the scheduled training.

Both sessions will be at the Glasgow Autonomous Space, Unit 11, 53 Kilbirnie Street, Glasgow G5 8JD.
Lunch, dinner, teas and coffees, childcare, travel expenses will be provided. Let us know of any special needs so we can provision your training accordingly.

New office space!

It is with great excitement that we announce that we’ve finally acquired our own dedicated office space! We officially open for business on Monday 8th July at 10am. You can find us at Unit 2B, 159 Broad Street, The David Dale Building, Bridgton, Glasgow G40 2QR. We look forward to seeing you.

New website

Welcome to the new Ubuntu Womens Shelter website! Content will be added shortly.

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