EnglishArabicChinese (Simplified)CzechFrenchGermanItalianPolishRomanianRussianSpanishSerbian

What I do at Glass Door 

I have been working for Glass Door since January 2012. I started as an overnight project worker at the newly opened Hammersmith and Fulham Night Shelter, a role I had for 3 months. Later that year (around September) I got a casework position. I have stayed in casework ever since, eventually becoming a Senior Caseworker and then Co-Head of Casework (around 2019). 

My area of expertise is everything to do with casework. Technically speaking, I am responsible for housing, employment, data, as well as services south of the river (day centres, night shelters, partnerships, contacts with local authorities etc). I also manage caseworkers, including specialist caseworkers (e.g. our Multiple Disadvantage Caseworker).

Casework is still quite a large part of my work. I am on-duty at the Ace of Clubs drop-in 2 days a week, and help out with other guests, such as those who don’t speak English; I speak Polish fluently, and I know enough to have basic communication with people who speak a number of other Slavic languages like Russian and Czech. 

The main challenges of being a caseworker 

Right now, the difficulty of housing guests is a huge challenge – much harder than it used to be.  

This is because there is a nation-wide housing crisis, with not enough affordable housing, not enough homes being built, serious problems with the Private Rented Sector and policies (around the benefits system, for example) that are not adequate for the problem, particularly since COVID. 

The skills I need to do my job 

The most important thing you need is to be knowledgeable on the areas you give advice - housing, benefits, etc. - but there are lots of other important or useful skills. People-skills like listening, empathy and relationship-building, diplomatic skills (which are very helpful when dealing with Local Authorities), research skills, communication skills, time-management and organisation are all important. 

What I like most about my job 

It’s very rewarding and brings lots of satisfaction. I also like that it’s never the same, it’s always interesting and keeps me busy, and I get to interact with lots of different people. 

What has changed since I started working at Glass Door 

Working for Glass Door was my first experience in the homelessness sector. 

There have been huge changes since 2012, from Brexit to COVID to changes to the benefits system. A few examples of how things have changed is that there is much less access to affordable housing, the standard of housing seems to have got lower, and getting Local Authorities to assess guests under the Housing Act has become much more difficult. 

What I would like people to know about homelessness 

It could affect almost anybody; we are all probably just one month’s salary away from homelessness.

Find out more about our casework service