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Caseworker Lewis counsels a guest at the Chelsea drop-in

published 29 August 2019

More individuals received support from a member of the Glass Door casework team this past year than ever before.  In total, the team supported 1,277 individuals affected by homelessness between 31 May 2018 and 1 June 2019. This figure represents a 7% increase from the previous year.

The percentage of women turning to the casework team also rose from 18% last year to 21% this year. The age of these guests ranged from 18 to 83, and together they spent a combined total of 3,688 hours with members of the Glass Door casework team, an increase from 3,482 hours in 2017 - 2018.

The numbers

 Outcomes Achieved



Supported into housing



Employment found



Benefits awarded



Evictions prevented



Reconnected to another country



Supported with migration issues, EU Settlement Scheme and/or identified trafficking/modern slavery



Helped to open bank account



Financial support received (e.g.  with debt relief, obtain grants etc.)



Supported with health issue (e.g. registered with GP)



Sourced identification and/or national insurance number



Received other support (training, sourcing items for new home, substance misuse)



More guests have found housing, received benefits, opened bank accounts and were awarded financial support. Furthermore, eight individuals were not evicted thanks to the intervention of Glass Door caseworkers.

The creation of two new casework positionsa migrant project manager and a dedicated EU Settlement Scheme caseworkerresulted in an increase in work around migration support, trafficking and modern slavery awareness. 

Homeless Reduction Act - one year on

Thanks to new legislation, some of the individuals who turn to Glass Door have been able to access additional support from Local Authorities to secure accommodation. The Homeless Reduction Act, first introduced in April 2018, puts new obligations on local housing authorities to take "reasonable steps" to help any eligible person secure accommodation – regardless of whether they’re in priority need or not. However, as many of our guests know, this is not always the case in practice.

If there’s reason to believe someone is homeless or at risk of homelessness, the local authorities must now carry out an assessment and agree a Personal Housing Plan. However, the quality of such plans varies; some individuals report they are merely given a list of shelters to contact. In most areas of London, the shortage of affordable housing means there are no realistic options for many, Senior Caseworker Neil Parkinson points out. 

Says Neil: 

We continue to struggle with limited housing options, in particular for young people and those with no recourse to public funds.

Despite the ongoing challenges, the team did manage to support a record number of guests into accommodation. Caseworker Lewis Gates says:

I feel proud of the team for being so consistent in their passion and willingness to bring about safety and justice for the people we work with.

Men and women can find support from our caseworkers year-round. They visit guests in the winter shelters and at the five drop-ins centres with which we partner: The King's Road Community Centre in Chelsea, Ace of Clubs in Clapham, The Vineyard Community Centre in Richmond, HTB Day Shelter in South Kensington, and The Yard in Putney.

 For more information on the charity's growth over the last twenty years, please see the Twenty-Year Review.

If you would like to work towards a future where no one has to sleep rough in London, join the Glass Door community.