20 March 2020

Dear <<First Name>>: 

We are continuously inspired by the commitment of volunteers, partners and staff who have heroically helped keep our shelters open in this time of great uncertainty. Now, when even being in public seems like a health risk, never have the vulnerable been more vulnerable. 


Many of you will know that we have been working to find an answer to the question of where someone who has no home can go to self-isolate and where they can go to recover if they become ill. We've been busy not only getting this on the public radar but also advocating alongside other charities in the sector.  


Once an answer is in place, the Glass Door shelters will be closing for the season. With luck, we will have news to share soon. 


Please note that we will continue to run our shelters until at least Monday 23 March, after which we hope to have a plan that will allow our guests a more suitable option, which will be coordinated by the government.  However, we expect this solution to be a staggered one, meaning some shelters may continue for the next few days after Monday. 


I appreciate that this uncertainty is a huge challenge and you need to know how long to ask volunteers to soldier on. We expect the answer is: one more shift for those who feel able and willing. 

And as always, please know that there is absolutely NO PRESSURE on volunteers to attend their shifts. Quite the opposite. We have found that with the reduction in dinners and interactions between guests and volunteers, skeleton crews of four volunteers have reported successfully delivering warm and hearty meals to our guests. Indeed, no one should attend a volunteer shift if they feel uncomfortable or if they have any underlying risk factors. 

Please pass on words of gratitude to the volunteers who have provided this lifeline for so many. I appreciate that while some may be relieved we will be ending the shelter season before the original end date of 5 April, others may feel disappointed. But we should all feel extremely proud to have provided that important bridge to allow time for a centralised government response.

Have a restful weekend. We will be in contact as soon we have a clearer picture on Monday. 

Yours sincerely, 

Lucy Abraham
Glass Door chief operating officer

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