One of the most difficult aspects of homelessness can be the loneliness.

Give of your time, money, resources or skills to help make a difference in the life of a homeless person.

1. Small acts of kindness

The men and women who turn to us often say that one of the most difficult aspects of being homeless can be the loneliness. They are used to feeling invisible.

If you see someone you suspect is homeless, try:   

  • Making eye contact
  • Smiling
  • Having a chat

We believe it's a personal choice whether or not to give money. (Of course not all people who are homeless beg, and conversely, not all beggars are homeless). There are other ways to help.

Treat others with dignity; even a smile can let someone know they're not invisible. Offer someone something to eat or drink (but don't assume you know what someone wants or how they like their tea).

You could say: "Sorry, I don't have any change. But I'd like to stop and have a chat. Is that OK?" 

2. Donate

A donation to your local front-line charity can help bring shelter and hope to someone who needs it most. Use Homeless Link's searchable database to find a charity local to you.

£23 will sponsor someone for the night in Glass Door's shelters, which are open for 22 weeks from early November to early April.

3. Fundraise

Raise funds and awareness for your local homeless shelter or drop-in centre.

For example:

Hundreds Sleep Out at Duke of York Square to raise awareness and funds for homelessness

Contact Glass Door to ask for inspiration and support, and bring shelter and hope to others.

4. Shop & dine with organisations that support charities

  • When you buy gifts online, use Easyfundraising, Give as you Live and AmazonSmile to raise donations for Glass Door or other favourite charity.
  • When dining 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.

5. Volunteer

Offer your time, skills and energy to your local homeless charity. Glass Door usually has stable volunteer teams in place throughout the winter in the night shelters, but take a look at volunteer positions for which we are currently recruiting. 

6. Be an advocate

Share your involvement with friends and family and inspire others to follow suit.  Write editorial letters to your local newspaper about the issue of homelessness in your community and what people can do to help. 

Share on social media. Or put a tagline at the bottom of your email signature encouraging others to do the same.

7. Donate items

photo of things we need, coffee, oyster card, underwearPeople experiencing homelessness need clothing, shoes, socks and underwear throughout the year.

We love it when individuals are able to donate at times that are less popular: June and July, for example. Do put together items to pass on to someone who can use them throughout the year.

Keep an eye out for updates to our online list of things we currently need and would warmly welcome. Many of our guests appreciate donations of socks and shoes, as these can quickly wear through with constant walking.

8. Help connect a rough sleeper to local services

  • If you live in South West London, pass on a "Shelter and Advice" card to someone you think could use the support. Cards available at the entrance of the Chelsea Methodist Church (155a Kings Rd, SW3 5TX). Or download, print and share our Daytime Support Flyer, which shows where individuals sleeping rough can get advice or register for shelter.

  • You can also find information on local day centres and services on Homeless Link
  • Alternatively, ask the person if he or she would allow you to contact StreetLink on their behalf. The details of the location you provide would be sent to the local authority so they can help connect the person to local services and support. 
  • If you see someone in urgent need of medical attention, dial 999.

On behalf of Glass Door staff, volunteers and guests, THANK YOU.