The team at St Luke's Redcliffe Gardens in the final weeks of shelter season.

15 April 2020
fortnightly update for Volunteer Coordinators

Dear <<First Name>>: 

I hope that all of you are staying safe and well during the lockdown.

As the shelter season has now well and truly drawn to a close, this would usually be our last fortnightly update until the shelters open again in November. However, since we continue to have many new developments, we would like to continue sending these updates for the next few weeks or so. Please do let me know if you would prefer not to receive them.

Following your help in getting all shelter guests into hotels in March, we are now seeing gradual progress for those who are still street homeless. While many individuals we are working with are getting seen by outreach teams and being moved to hotels, there are still far too many still sleeping on the streets who are not receiving the shelter they need during this pandemic. 

We are continuing to speak out in the press about this as well as turning our attention to the need for food among those who are facing homelessness now. You can find out more about our new food outreach scheme in ‘Other News’ below. 

Volunteer survey: You and all your registered volunteers should have received a link to the volunteer feedback survey. We are sorry that there were some technical errors with the survey. These should now have been resolved and the form is still accessible on the same link:

If you did manage to get to the end then we will use the answers you have already provided and you do not need to fill in the survey again. If you did not finish the survey or have not yet started it then please do try again now and encourage your volunteers to do so too. Thank you for bearing with us and we very much look forward to receiving your feedback. 

Debrief on 20 April: I am looking forward to touching base with you all on Zoom at 6.30pm on 20 April. 

Please see further updates below and stay safe. 

Casework and shelter updates: 

A message from senior caseworker Neil: The casework team has continued to support individuals coming to the food services at St. Cuthbert’s and Ace of Clubs, as well at the Glass Door office and over the phone. This has been a challenging and gradual process as we have made numerous referrals to already stretched outreach teams and negotiated mixed responses from local authorities. The good news is that we have supported a total of 48 homeless people who are not from our shelters to link in with services and access emergency accommodation for the duration of the crisis. Like our shelter guests, we will remain in contact with these individuals as much as possible, ensuring they are coping with the pressures of isolation and are able to meet basic needs such as food. We are also trying to ensure they are as ready as possible to find a more permanent solution to their homelessness once the lockdown ends.

Kensington & Chelsea:  Caseworker Jasmiina has supported four guests with hotel accommodation and one lady who was previously in the shelters has now been provided with temporary accommodation by a council. Another guest who moved into accommodation two weeks ago has now finally had repairs to his flat. 

H&F:  Caseworker Alex has had housing success with a number of guests, including an 80 year-old man who is now settled in Brent.  

Wandsworth: The brilliant people at our partner drop-in, Ace of Clubs, have been serving more than 100 people a day with takeaway meals since the lockdown began. Senior caseworker Boguslaw and caseworker Patricia have continued to work hard supporting guests in Clapham throughout the pandemic. Patricia has linked one very vulnerable woman in with legal support to ensure she was placed in Temporary Accommodation by her local authority. 

Richmond: Caseworker Gemma has connected with the mental health assessment team at EASL to support guests from Richmond who are now in London hotels.

Other news: 

Glass Door in the media: While many people who were formerly street homeless are now in hotels, we have been speaking out about the hundreds of individuals still left on the streets. Coverage includes a video for the Evening Standard and inclusion on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme and the Financial Times. Watch, listen and read back now. 

New guest story: A former guest from the Wandsworth circuit has shared her experience of moving to a hotel room. Give Nancy’s story a read.  

New projects: We are analysing how best to respond to the growing needs of those both in hotels and those still on the street. For example, we are now trialing a new food outreach project to address the growing number of people left on the street with no access to basics, such as food and water. This food outreach project is being run in partnership with several other organisations, including Under One Sky, Punjab restaurant and Chelsea Methodist Church. We're also looking into ways to ensure guests in hotels have access to food and support, and we're working on long-term exit strategies once their secured hotel stay is over. We will be updating our website and offering ways to get involved when more details are available. 

Supporter- superstars- of-the-fortnight: We want to thank absolutely everyone who has contributed to our emergency COVID-19 appeal. That includes the kind people at The Moore Medical Practice in Chelsea for recommending donations to Glass Door in lieu of treatment charges and the German Churches of the UK who are encouraging donations to the charity instead of their usual collections. Many of you are anonymous superstars helping to provide support where the need is greatest during this pandemic. Read the messages left by supporters and find out where your donation could go on our COVID-19 appeal page. 

Happy to help

If you need anything, please feel free to get in touch with me at
- Megan for the Glass Door Team

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