Update 12 January:

Great news: Those working in homeless services and support have been specifically named in the list of groups to receive vaccinations as part of the second cohort, which is set to begin in mid-February. These vaccinations will protect care workers who have close personal contact with those who are clinically vulnerable, and in doing so, protect the people they support.

Thank you to everyone who backed the call!

Next up: We'll be working to make sure everyone who uses our services is registered with a GP. We'll also be calling on councils to recognise those who are homeless as clinically vulnerable so that they can receive the vaccine as soon as possible. 


Campaign launched 7 January

Glass Door backed the campaign by Homeless Link that is advocating for roles working with people experiencing homelessness to be treated as a priority occupation for COVID-19 vaccination.

Many who volunteer, work with or support Glass Door helped strengthen the call by writing to their local MP. Campaign actions below.

Actions taken

  1. Click here to write to your MP now (you will be taken to WriteToThem.com)
  2. Choose the postcode where Glass Door is based (SW3 5TX) and/or your home address 
  3. Select the MP (scroll to bottom of the page)
  4. Write your message. Try to personalise. Some information you can use can be found below.
  5. Preview and send
  6. Share the news on your social media channels (see example).

call for vaccination of homelessness workers


Letter

Consider including the following information (bulletted below) in your letter. Please note that the WriteToThem tool and MPs prefer personalised letters, so do make it yours as much as possible. Example content is here for your inspiration:

  • The number and location of your projects or services within your MP’s constituency

As you may be aware, Glass Door Homeless Charity operates in Kensington, Chelsea, Fulham, Hammersmith, Wandsworth, Richmond, Camden and Victoria. Their headquarters are on the King's Road in Chelsea.

Glass Door also partners with community centres that support homeless people. These partners include the King's Road Community Drop-in in Chelsea, Ace of Clubs in Clapham, The Vineyard Community Centre in Richmond, Refettorio Felix at St Cuthbert's in Earl's Court, HTB Queen's Gate Day Shelter in Kensington, among others.

  • The numbers of staff and people supported

About 12 front line staff are based in Chelsea, with another two in Wandsworth and two in Richmond. An additional 44 work during the winter months supporting people who are homeless across these areas.

Also an additional 30 staff and volunteers support the hostel project who are employed through Glass Door's partners LHA.

Additionally, about 400 Glass Door volunteers are also on the frontline supporting homeless people in these areas.

Last year, the charity and its staff supported about 1,500 individuals who were affected by homelessness. They provided emergency shelter to over 800 individuals. 

  • The numbers of staff and beneficiaries who have had a positive COVID test 

This winter, several staff members have tested positive for COVID. While the charity has measures in place to guard against an outbreak within their services, the charity knows outbreak within their services would be devastating to the people they support.

  • The reasons (and urgency) for the need for homelessness staff and people experiencing homelessness to be vaccinated

It is well known within the sector that people with no home are at high COVID harm risk. They are substantially more likely than even the most deprived housed people to report having chronic diseases such as asthma, heart problems and stroke. They are also prone to a higher than average number of long-term health conditions and are old before their time. Levels of frailty – including unintentional weight loss, weakness and low levels of physical activity – among those experiencing homelessness are comparable to 89-year-olds in the general population.

Furthermore, people with no home die young. According to the ONS, the mean age at death of homeless people in 2019 was 46 years for men, 43 years for women as compared to the general population mean age of 76 years for men and 81 years for women.  

Just as residents of care homes are at higher clinical risk of severe disease, so are those who use single homeless hostels and other shared homeless accommodation for rough sleepers. Consequently, frontline homelessness workers are also at increased risk of exposure to COVID-19 and of transmitting an infection to the susceptible people they support.

Frontline health and social care workers are already considered a priority for vaccination and we believe that, by the same rationale, those working with people who have no home should also be given precedence.  Those on the frontline who work with people who have no home should be treated as a priority for vaccination, as a matter for urgency.

I ask that you immediately raise this critical matter with the Minister for COVID Vaccine Deployment on behalf of your constituents.

Yours sincerely,

 

Your Name