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3 February 2020

Glass Door COO Lucy Abraham and Jacob Quagliozzi from Housing Justice joined presenter Zakeea Wright to talk about tackling homelessness on a special edition of London Live. The TV segment aired on 31 January during the 6pm news hour.

Lucy and Jacob discussed how their charities are working with the London Homeless Collective, a movement of more than 25 charities that support people experiencing homelessness in London.

'If we work together, we can be more effective’, Lucy said.

Lucy went on to discuss the importance of the human connections fostered in the shelters. She said:

It’s about being treated like a human being. Because you are ignored on the streets. People just walk past and don’t make eye contact. But in the shelters, it’s warm and welcoming. We use the word guest rather than clients or service users. We want to make people feel that they are guests in the volunteers’ home.

Jacob added:

"Somebody experiencing homelessness can leave that problem at the door for an evening. They can interact with other people on the basis of being a human being as opposed to being a person with loads of problems that need to be sorted out.” 

When asked why people turn to Glass Door shelters, Lucy responded:

I have seen people who were in senior positions, but something happened. A relationship breakdown, for example, or turning to drink or drugs. And suddenly someone’s life is derailed. We really do get all kinds of people in the shelters: people who have had gambling additions, people who grew up in care and just have nowhere to go. They turned 18 and they have no support network and find themselves on the street.

Lucy also told former guest Eddie’s story. Eddie was homeless for 26 years before staying in a Glass Door shelter and finding his path off the streets. Now Eddie works at Glass Door as an overnight project worker.

Read Eddie’s full story in his own words, or find out more about Glass Door’s membership of The London Homeless Collective.

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