Open Door makes a difference to people’s lives. These are the real stories of some of the people who have been helped by Open Door.
Jimmy worked full time until a few months before coming to Open Door. After a relationship breakdown, he lost his job and his home.
“When I first came to Open Door I had never been in a night shelter before so I didn't know what to expect. The man sat on the sofa offered me his hand and said, "welcome to Open Door", and gave me his name. These were some of the nicest words I'd heard in a long time.
The team at Open Door were very welcoming and professional. They took me in and during my stay they went out of their way to help me. I have seen a lot of people that were helped in equal ways that meant that our dignity was not taken away at any time. Everyone is treated with respect at Open Door, no matter what their background or life experience."
John has lived in St Albans his whole life and has been homeless for the last 14 years. When John arrived at Open Door he was in very bad way, abusing drugs and alcohol and hardly eating at all.
Since arriving at Open Door, John’s condition and quality of life have improved significantly. The staff supported him to take the medication he needs, when he needs it, and very importantly for John he has reduced his dependency on alcohol, cigarettes and drugs. They have also helped him to arrange meetings at the council to get a more permanent home and to claim housing benefit. The healthy meals served at Open Door are helping John to eat more regularly.
John said “I can’t praise the staff here enough, the rooms are comfortable and I have been able to make new friends here too. With the support of the staff, I am now trying to get clean.”
"Before I lived at Open Door I had been socially isolated for around 12 years. I was scared when I moved in because it would mean being with other people and it was all new. My time there was made pleasurable though as the staff were friendly and polite. I found it easy to talk to them and I felt relaxed and able to speak openly. They were always on hand to give me support when I needed it.
I made friends at Open Door and started to get some of my confidence back. The staff worked with me to make a diet plan to support me with my eating disorder. They also referred me to a longer-stay hostel in St Albans where I am staying now. It is less than six months from when I first went to Open Door but now my life is so different and I feel different. I went in without a home, without confidence and very isolated. Now I am in therapy, in a stable relationship and in college doing a maths course.
Open Door was the first step to building this settled life for myself. Now I am not quiet and withdrawn anymore. I feel alive again.”
Please note the names and images on this page do not represent the people in the stories.