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4 August 2021

by Lucy Horitz, Glass Door CEO

After many months of Glass Door advocating for the need for night shelters this winter, we are glad to see the government's newly amended shelter guidelines allow for rotating church shelters to take place.  

These guidelines from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government highlight priority actions to take to ensure the safe running of night shelters, including the letting in of fresh air, regular testing and good hygiene practices.  They align with our own plans to open night shelters this winter and the latest safety measures we’ve been working on (details of which will be shared with partners soon).  

There are still a few hurdles to overcome before we open, but we are confident that we can do so in a safe way, so that those experiencing homelessness in the local community can access the safe shelter and support they so desperately need.  

While the rest of society unlocks, we know that we need to proceed with caution as our guests are more likely to be vulnerable to COVID and less likely to be vaccinated. Our shelters will therefore look very different this year, with less capacity and numerous COVID restrictions in place. 

Alongside the reopening of the night shelters, we are also planning on running one single-room accommodation building from November, providing a path beyond the shelter for guests who are especially vulnerable, or who need more stability as they start a new job, for example.   

While planning for winter is very much underway, we are ever conscious of the fact that guidance could change again in response to a surge in cases prior to or during the season. We remain ready to adapt to the changing landscape, while always putting the interests of our guests at the heart of our decision making.  

If you'd like to help individuals access vital shelter and support, please consider making a regular donation.