1 June 2018

By Ralph Griffin, Glass Door interim COO, recruited to Glass Door in January 2018, having completed a full career in the Household Cavalry and Defence.

During my first month in post, two comments were made from staff that, in my mind, sum up the value of Glass Door as an organisation:

“We are all products of migration, whether this century, last century or before. Migrants, by definition, rely on the kindness of strangers to establish themselves. Today, Glass Door is often that friendly stranger.”

and

“Glass Door is a unique place to work as everyone is focussed on the same outcome.”

I now assess both statements to be true.   

During my tenure at Glass Door, I’ve been impressed to see how individuals and institutions in our community come together to provide assistance for some of the most vulnerable among us. Following the undoubted successes of last year, it’s a good time to think about where we are headed.

Glass Door has a formula that works and therefore we hope our supporters continue to engage with us to help find routes off the street for our guests. With the vital support that you give, in the year ahead we will:

  • Open the shelter doors on Monday 5 November 2018 until Sunday 7 April 2019

We aim to:

  • Maximise existing shelter space, increasing the overall capacity in the shelters to around 130 guests a night across four shelter circuits
  • Invest in our ability to support people into work and housing by keeping our casework team in place year-round and grow the team
  • Develop our support program for guests that have been rehoused so they maintain their housing
  • Investigate establishing new partnerships with additional drop-in centres looking to expand the casework and advice capabilities
  • Engage with the wider community to find new shelter circuits
  • Go green and reduce the amount of plastic waste across the night shelters and go electric
  • Enable online training for volunteers
  • Invest in systems for better managing the shelter registration list

I've been hugely impressed by what a relatively small charity like Glass Door achieves. If we invest in systems now, I am confident we can continue to save and change lives for the better for those in our community who have fallen through the cracks.  In the near future, I expect Glass Door to be partnering with even more churches, drop-in centres and other institutions, growing to incorporate a fifth and sixth circuit. 

I know good when I see it and Glass Door is good.