29 November 2017

Glass Door has forged new partnerships with churches in Richmond upon Thames to open a new circuit of night shelters.  The new shelters, set to open on 15 January 2018, will allow 20 individuals to find a safe space to sleep every night until the Glass Door winter season finishes on 8 April. 

"Churches across the borough have reported a noticeable rise in homelessness," says Revd Joe Moffatt, whose parish St Mary's with St Albans was one of the first churches to join the new circuit. He adds:

Statistically, we are one of the least deprived parishes in London, yet even here there is an increasing issue with home insecurity and hidden poverty.

Churches working in Partnership

Seven churches are coming together to form a new circuit of shelters, with each church taking a turn one night of the week. Others have offered to help recruit volunteers. The churches that will be hosting the shelters are:

Glass Door's Chair of Trustees Revd Brian Leathard says:

This is another encouraging example of how churches of different denominations can work together to relieve suffering and make the community a better place for everyone.

Revd Wilma Roest says the congregations under the umbrella of the Richmond Team Ministry have been looking to find a way to "help those who are sleeping rough in our town, the ones we see on our way to church and those who come to us for some support." She adds:

Rev Wilma RoestThis project offers a practical, sensible and realistic way of bringing some comfort during these cold months. And we believe it is a way of sharing the love of God by being ‘hands-on’!

Help to move beyond homelessness

During the daytime, guests of the new circuit will be able to get advice from a Glass Door caseworker based at the Vineyard Community Centre, a Richmond-based drop-in community support centre for those affected by homelessness.

The new service will be run as a pilot scheme. Assuming the service is useful and the necessary funds can be raised, Glass Door will reopen the Richmond circuit for 22 weeks next winter.

Staff wanted

Glass Door is now hiring a project manager and overnight workers to run the Richmond night shelters. Apply before 10 December to join the team. Find out more.