8 July 2019

This statement is in response to The Observer’s story published 7 July 2019 (“Secret plan to use charities to help deport rough sleepers”) detailing plans to gather information on non-UK rough sleepers through homelessness charities through an initiative known as the Rough Sleeper Support Service (RSSS):

 

Glass Door does not provide the Home Office with any personal information on the men and women we support. Indeed, we take client confidentiality very seriously.

We believe everyone has a right to support, and we are opposed to any practice that aims to unlawfully detain or remove rough sleepers. Rough sleepers need our support, not our condemnation.

Glass Door does not engage in street outreach work, which is the focus of concern in the article. Glass Door coordinates the largest open-access night shelter in the UK. Last winter, we provided emergency shelter to 700 individuals and from June 2018 to May 2019, we advised over a thousand individuals to help them find routes beyond homelessness. Our first concern is always the best interest of the men and women who access our services.

This “hostile environment” is hurting the most vulnerable among us. We hope this story doesn’t sabotage the ability of many charities to develop trust with rough sleepers.

We would like to reassure any individual that turns to us for support that their sensitive personal details will be handled in confidence and not shared with the Home Office.

- Lucy Abraham, Chief Operating Officer

Glass Door Homeless Charity