Get involved Top ways to make a difference Top ten ways to make a difference 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 person experiencing homelessness. 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?" Opening yourself up for conversation with a stranger is not easy. But you may find the overcoming the challenge and connecting with people from potentially different backgrounds and ages to be its own reward. 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. £24 will sponsor someone for the night in Glass Door's shelters, which are open for 22 weeks from early November to early April. Donate Now 3. Fundraise Raise funds and awareness for your local homeless shelter or drop-in centre. For example: host your own Sleep Out, host a reverse coffee morning, run a 5K or other challenge event, hold a bake sale, or find another way to fundraise. Contact Glass Door to ask for inspiration and support, and bring shelter and hope to others. 4. Shop & dine with organisations that support charities Royal Gardens Hotel have launched a two year initiative supporting Glass Door, which includes special menu options in Min Jiang and Park Terrace that support the charity. Support the #smalltapbigchange campaign in Hammersmith. You can find contactless devices in pubs, shops and office buildings across Hammersmith town centre where you can give a donation of £2 per tap to support charities in the borough supporting individuals affected by homelessness. Find out more at https://hammersmithbid.co.uk/. When you shop online, use Easyfundraising, Give as you Live and AmazonSmile to raise donations for Glass Door or another 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. Look for the Good Slice at festivals near you. For every pizza you buy, you are also providing soup to a homeless guest. Buy your cuppa from ChangePlease, "a social enterprise staffed by the homeless, to support the homeless". 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. Inspire others by sharing your journey on social media. Or put a tagline at the bottom of your email signature encouraging others to find out more about the causes and charities close to you. Follow Crisis' lead and get involved with campaigns like Scrap the Vagrancy Act, which aims to end outdated laws that criminalises people for sleeping rough and begging. Glass Door is proud to support this campaign and others. Find a list of Crisis' current campaigns. Add your voice to the campaign now 7. Donate items People 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 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. 9. Attend an event that supports your local homeless charity Find an up to date online list of events that support Glass Door. 10. Host a guest 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. The Ultimate way to make a difference: host someone in your home. 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.