Get involved Top ten ways to make a difference photo: volunteer serves meal at socially distanced dinner service (credit: Tonga Akmen) The pandemic is affecting everyone. But those who are already vulnerable are suffering most. How can you help end homelessness while Covid-19 is still at large? We count down our top ten ways to support people affected by homelessness during the pandemic. 1. Make a human connection At Glass Door, we are supporting a growing number of people who are struggling after loosing their livelihood during the pandemic. Some are sleeping rough for the first time. With less people out and about, people sleeping on the street or on buses are feeling more isolated than ever before. While respecting social distancing rules, we suggest you make eye contact smile (even if you are wearing a mask) say hello ask how they are and if they would like help connecting to local services We believe it's a personal choice whether or not to give money. There are other ways to help. You could say: "Sorry, I don't have any change. Would you like to have a quick chat?" Opening yourself up for conversation with a stranger is not easy. But we know loneliness is one of the most insidious side effects of homelessness. 2. Connect someone to services While our hostel service is usually oversubscribed, someone in need of a hot meal and warm welcome can come to our community dinner service. Or direct someone to one of our partnering day centres, where Glass Door caseworkers are on-hand to provide support. Download our A5 flyers, print and signpost someone to where they can get support. Alternatively, consider connecting someone on the streets to the local Streetlink team. The details of the location you provide would be sent to the local authority so they can help the person to services. Always ask the person if they allow you to contact StreetLink on their behalf first. If someone is in need of urgent medical attention, call 111 or 999. Find out more on our: Find Help page 3. Donate A one-off or regular donation to your local front-line charity can help bring shelter and support to someone who needs it most. Donate to Glass Door now We are thankful for support from businesses and schools as well. Find out how your work place or local school can work with Glass Door as their nominated "charity of the year". 4. Fundraise It’s time to get creative. There are plenty of ways you can help raise funds. For example: For one night, give up the luxury of your bed and swap it for a sleeping bag on the floor either indoors our outside (if you have a balcony or garden). Sleep out as a family or ask friends to do the same from their own home. Use Skype, Zoom or House Party to hold a virtual quiz or class with a suggested donation. Hold an online concert. Go ‘live’ online and ask people to donate to Glass Door during the show. Donate your birthday via a Facebook fundraiser. Or find another way to fundraise. Contact Glass Door if you need fundraising inspiration or support. 5. Support restaurants and other establishments making a difference We are excited to be teaming up with Social Bite and Just Eat to help feed people in need this winter. When you are treating yourself to a takeaway on Just Eat you can now make a donation at checkout of either £3, £5 or £10 to help fund food provision for people affected by homelessness and food poverty at Christmas and over winter. Whatever you donate, Just Eat will match it pound for pound. Glass Door is proud to be one of the 15 charities across the UK the campaign is supporting. When in Hammersmith and Fulham, look for the network of contactless devices in pubs, shops and office buildings from Small Tap Big Change. These devices allow you to give fixed donations of £2 per tap, funds that support local homeless charities including Glass Door. Our friends at The Good Slice serve pizza with a purpose. Usually found at festivals, they've pivoted to delivering pizza to homes in south London. Every delicious pizza purchased gives back to Glass Door. When you are able to dine out, look for one of the many excellent restaurants that take part in StreetSmart, a charity that passes on donations to Glass Door and other reputable homeless charities. Buy your cuppa from ChangePlease, "a social enterprise staffed by the homeless, to support the homeless". 6. Raise funds while shopping online Support Glass Door or a favourite charity when shopping online. By choosing one of the tools below, the retailer gives a portion of your sale to the good cause of your choice, at no extra cost to you: Easyfundraising Give as you Live AmazonSmile (and use the Smilematic tool to be redirected to Amazon Smile to support us every time you shop Amazon). 7. Volunteer The reality is we are not able to work with as many volunteers as in previous years due to Covid. However, we encourage you to keep an eye on our latest volunteer opportunities and roles with our partner organisations. For example, we do need volunteers to make and donate face masks to help keep guests safe. Find more about this here. 8. Donate stuff People experiencing homelessness still need basic items like food and clothes. Our team also need items like PPE and hand sanitizer to help them do their job safely. Check out things we currently need where we also detail how and where you can donate. 9. Campaign Join our campaign to increase vaccine uptake among people experiencing homelessness and those that support them. If you've had the vaccine and want to encourage others to have it too, share a photo on social media with your reason for getting the vaccine. Tag Glass Door and use hashtags #InclusionHealth #HomelessHealth and #VaccinesForAll. If you work for a homeless support service, we have some handy resources and fact sheets to help you promote vaccine uptake. The more of us that are vaccinated, the sooner people who are homeless can safely turn to day centres, libraries and the other services. Positive behaviour is contagious; let others know you're getting the vaccine & why. #HomelessHealth, #InclusionHealth https://t.co/ixUzkPMZFc — Glass Door (@GlassDoorLondon) March 18, 2021 Join our campaign The Government has shown what is possible this year by sheltering thousands of homeless people in hotels during the first lockdown. St Mungo's are leading a campaign calling on the Government to continue this historic progress by ring-fencing more money for homelessness services and increasing the social housing available to people with a history of rough sleeping. This could help end homelessness for good. Add your voice to the campaign Also take a look at campaigns run by Crisis. Glass Door has recently joined other leading homelessness charities calling on the UK Government to scrap new immigration rules that will push people further from support and will not help us end homelessness for good. Sign the petition at https://campaigns.crisis.org.uk/page/70462/pet/1. 10. Register your interest in hosting a refugee Everyone is welcome at Glass Door, including refugees and individuals with no recourse to public funds. In appropriate cases, we might help these guests connect with hosting organisations. While it isn’t possible to host someone into your home right now, the ultimate way to make a difference is to register your interest in hosting someone in your home in future. Find out more about becoming a host with organisations like Refugees at Home and Housing Justice. On behalf of Glass Door staff, volunteers and guests: THANK YOU.