8 June 2021

Glass Door's CEO Lucy Abraham

London is facing a homelessness crisis with the eviction ban, furlough scheme and Covid emergency funding all due to end imminently. Recent estimates suggest as many as 400,000 households in England are facing eviction. At Glass Door, we are determined to keep our doors open to all in need of safe shelter and a route out of homelessness.   

While the coming year will continue to be a year of uncertainty, planning is well under way.   

The Glass Door road map will continue to put our guests at the heart of all we do. We’ve consulted with guests through our guest advisory group and analysed guest anonymous feedback surveys, and listened to staff to develop plans that meet the immediate and longer-term needs of guests.

Future plans include reopening both shelters and accommodation in single rooms, all with wrap-around support.

Safe shelter+

Once lockdown has ended, there won’t be enough single room accommodation for all rough sleepers in London. By reopening our network of rolling shelters, more individuals can get off the streets and access support services.  Emergency shelters offer safety and support to rough sleepers who would otherwise fall through the cracks. 

Detailed operational plans to reopen shelters will likely include a vaccine requirement, regular lateral flow testing, symptom screening, social distancing, and PPE. We aim to run four shelter circuits from November to April. And our shelters will be about more than just a temporary roof: casework support will be embedded into the service, ensuring guests can develop individualised move-on plans.  

Safe room+ 

We plan to run one own-room accommodation project from November to May in Westminster. This extension of the service launched in 2020 will provide guests with rooms in a central London location alongside the tailored support offered by Glass Door’s caseworkers. This safe room option can provide a path beyond the shelter for guests who are especially vulnerable, or who need more stability as they start a new job, for example.    

Casework

We will continue to operate an advice service Monday to Friday on a drop-in basis according to agreements with our partner day centres and by appointment. Caseworkers will visit all shelters one night per week and will be based in the hostel daily. As with all our services, we will continue to take a trauma-informed and gender-informed approach, including offering guests the option to see a female caseworker. There will be a key focus on bolstering our access to resources and expertise around mental health and migrants 

Daytime Services

The partnerships we create with these community hubs are essential. At partner day centres, guests can access practical services (such as clothing and showers) and get tailored advice from a Glass Door caseworker.  

Additional Services

As previously, we will provide food vouchers, toiletries, phones, phone credit and bus tickets to meet guests’ immediate needs. We also aim to increase our range of services, including access to computers for all and smartphones for engaged guests staying in our hostels to improve digital inclusion, English language classes, lockers, and move-in support. We hope to re-launch Women’s Group in early September, subject to the right venue, staffing, and safety requirements. 


To ensure we can continue to run services, we are speaking to policy makers and local government officials to discuss how we can reopen shelters safely. Find out more about how we are working to influence policy.

The tapestry of services outlined above represent our most ambitious winter delivery plans to date. To help ensure they become a reality, please: