Glass Door Homeless Charity’s annual Sleep Out is back for 2021 to raise vital funds and awareness for people experiencing homelessness in London. The event, which took place virtually last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, is returning to Duke of York Square, Chelsea on Friday 1st October with a limited number of spaces. The virtual element will remain this year, with participants being given the choice to take part in a location of their choosing, whether that be a garden, school hall or living room floor.
This year’s Sleep Out will be Glass Door’s ninth, and last year it raised more than £166,000 with funds going towards Glass Door’s emergency COVID response.
One woman in her forties who stayed with Glass Door this winter said: “Before arriving I hadn’t had a shower for two weeks, I then slept for two days non-stop. I don’t know how to thank them.”
London is facing a homelessness crisis with the furlough scheme and COVID emergency funding due to end imminently. Recent estimates suggest as many as 400,000 households in England are facing eviction. The charity’s plans include reopening both shelters and accommodation in single rooms, all with wrap-around support to help those facing the devastating impacts of homelessness.
This year’s Sleep Out event aims to raise £200,000 to fund the charity’s most ambitious year to date and to ensure all those in need can find a route out of homelessness. Participants will be helping to provide safe shelter, food and advice for people in the community who have nowhere else to turn.
“It’s going to be great to be back at Duke of York Square, but we also want to encourage people to take part wherever suits them best,” says Glass Door’s CEO Lucy Horitz. “The important thing is that you give up your bed for one night to help give others a roof over their heads. We are encouraging everyone to sleep out to help out!”
Previous participants of Glass Door’s Sleep Out describe it as an “amazing” and “eye-opening” experience.