About Glass Door


What we do

Based in London, Glass Door coordinates the UK’s largest network of open-access services for people affected by homelessness. During the Covid-19 pandemic, new services were launched to ensure people experiencing homelessness could safely stay in individual rooms and had access to food and support to move beyond homelessness. Year-round, people find advice and support to end their homelessness through trained caseworkers based at partnering drop-in centres. Our shelters save lives, and our support services help change lives.

Glass Door is committed to supporting people to get—and stay—off the street. Since 1999, thousands of men and women have found safe shelter and the support needed to leave homelessness behind.

How we do it

Our services are open to all. We are one of the few emergency night shelters that has an open access policy, meaning guests do not need a referral from another agency. We believe everyone has inherent dignity and is worthy of a safe place to sleep. We operate on a first-come, first-served basis.

This past year we responded to the Covid crisis by opening a new project that provides shelter in individual rooms instead of communal night shelters.

We are an independent charity that receives no funding that would impede our open access policy. It is thanks to the support and partnership of individuals, churches, community groups, businesses and trusts and foundations that we can continue to provide shelter and support to those who need it most.

We are proud to have received several awards, including the Charity Times Awards 2020 (PR Team of the Year Award Winner and shortlisted for Charity of the Year and Rising Leader of the Year for CEO Lucy Horitz), the Christian Funders Forum (Best Housing Project Silver Winner 2018), Directory of Social Change (winner of the 2018 Impact award), The Chelsea Awards (winner of the 2019 community collaboration award), Charity Today (Highly Commended for 2019 Community Impact) and Homeless Link Excellence Awards 2019 (highly commended for excellence in collaboration & partnership working) and 2020 (Highly Commended, "Jacqui McCluskey communicating for change award").

Our impact

  • 1,645 individuals received support across Glass Door’s services in 2020-2021.
  • In partnership with five drop-in centres, a team of caseworkers work year-round to help get people back into independence. Despite the many challenges associated with the economy during the pandemic, at least 47 guests found work in 2020-2021. A record-breaking 317 of our guests moved into housing in 2021-2022. We also support guests after they've been housed, with a Tenancy Support Worker in post.
  • In the winter of 2020/2021, a total of 199 individuals found a safe place to stay across two hostels in Central London. On average 75% of guests felt more optimistic about the future since staying in this new Glass Door Covid-secure single-room accommodation project. We only had one cluster of 3 COVID-19 cases among guests. All three cases recovered
  • At least 343 individuals joined us for hot meals in our community dinner programme, run in four London boroughs in the winter of 2020-2021. More than 400 volunteers helped to serve over 10,300 meals.
  • Behind each statistic are hundreds of individuals we call our guests, each with a unique story. This past winter, at least 93 of those we supported were refugees or asylum seekers. At least 23 were fleeing domestic violence, and 10 were victims of modern slavery. Guests experiencing multiple challenges such as a relationship breakdown, past trauma, alcohol dependency and debt found help to address these issues and become more stable and self-sufficient.

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  • guests at shelter table
  • Shelter 1 (Aga)

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