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Glass Door has been operating emergency winter night shelters for over 20 years. We run the UK's largest network of night shelters for people experiencing homeless.  

We launched our emergency night shelter service on Monday 6th November, offering 105 spaces per night across three shelters in West & Southwest London. We have 45 shelter staff, 425 volunteers and a year-round Casework and Operations Team delivering our shelter provision seven days a week in each of the three rotating circuits. We offer a safe and warm place to sleep, a hot and nutritious meal and light breakfast every day for the five coldest months of the year'. 

6th Jan 2024 – marked the two-month mark for our Winter Night Shelter service, here’s what we’ve reported from the front-line. 

First month into our winter night shelter season

When we opened our Winter Night Shelters in early November, two out of our three circuits were fully booked by the end of the first day. In the first ten days, over 500 people were referred to our shelters, marking an 81% increase in applications compared to the same period last winter. Demand was so high that we made the tough decision to temporarily halt registration for men seeking shelter. 

For further insight into the first month of our shelters, head to this blog: We’re one month into our night shelter season – here is what we are seeing on the frontline 


Two months into our winter night shelter season

The first week of 2024 marked two months into the night shelter service. Due to a consistently high demand for our shelters, for the second time since we opened our shelters we paused men’s shelter referrals just before Christmas. Two months after the service had opened: 

  • We had received 931 referrals 

  • 316 guests had stayed at the shelters in total 

  • 86% were sleeping rough prior to staying in a night shelter 

  • The average length of stay was 18 nights 

  • Top age groups were (37.97%) 21-34, (33.86%) 35-49, (23.73%) 50-69 

  • 200 guests (63%) had engaged with a caseworker 

  • Successful outcomes included: 23 guests moved to more permanent housing, 8 connected with health services, 3 helped to secure ID 

Our data for two months in is reflecting the same trends that we saw one month into our shelters opening. We are still seeing an increase in demand for Under 35s, as well as an increase in demand for refugees – which was directly related to the asylum cessation crisis and the Home Office’s change in policy, shortening eviction notices for refugees 

Our data has also supported our decision to open a women’s shelter for the first time, with 62% women preferring a space in our women’s shelter.  

We know there are more people facing homelessness every day in London. We will continue our support to those who turn to us in these cold winter months and our expert casework service will continue to run all year round, helping people to find individual pathways out of homelessness. 


To read more about a night at our shelter, have a read of this story: A Night At The Shelter