The Oasis Academy is a free private school for middle- and high-school-aged kids.

A mother and her son were in crisis. The mom, who had immigrated to London from Nigeria in 2003, made a modest living as a teacher’s assistant. But in 2016 she fell ill with sickle cell anemia. “I couldn’t work, couldn’t pay the rent,” she recently told The Independent.

She was in the hospital when her teenage son was served with an eviction notice. Even though they were legal immigrants, they weren’t eligible for government assistance. They began sleeping on friends’ and relatives’ couches, moving from home to home.