Charity Glass Door ‘shocked’ at homeless numbers seeking help

A charity for the homeless has reported a “shocking” level of vulnerable people turning up to their shelters this winter.

Glass Door – who have shelters in Wandsworth – have already taken in three pregnant women, one person undergoing chemotherapy and a wheelchair user.

Chief operating officer Lucy Abraham said: “It is shocking to see how many vulnerable people are turning to us for shelter this year it suggests a worrying trend.”

Churches in Wandsworth – including Ascension Balham Hill, St Peter’s Battersea and St Barnabas Clapham – take turns housing 35 people per night, each offering a hot dinner, basic shelter and breakfast.

James Swan was sleeping rough under a pavilion in Wandsworth Park after suffering a broken neck, debt and relationship breakdown.

He said: “The streets were so quiet on Christmas Day and nothing was open. The hunger, the cold and the wet were bad, but the loneliness and
isolation at Christmas was overwhelming.

“I can think of no greater gift than to give someone else the warm welcome and support that I was given.

“Another cold night and I could have been done for.”

James stayed with Glass Door for two months – he is now employed, in touch with his family, and has been living in his own flat for more than three years.

The charity aims to raise £60,000 for their Christmas appeal to accommodate 170 people across London.

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