The Open Door Future Vision

Building on the success of the Winter Beds Project, we continue to look at new ways of supporting the most vulnerable in the community. We want to create new projects to promote lasting solutions to social isolation, poverty and homelessness in St Albans.


To achieve this aim, we have been working with Centre 33, another charity which runs a drop-in centre, to develop plans for setting up a community centre supporting people who are marginalised and vulnerable in St Albans.


Here is an outline of our plans for the future.

Mission Statement

To work with the local community to promote lasting solutions to social isolation, poverty  and homelessness.


Our aim is to set up a multi-disciplinary community centre to support people who are  marginalised and vulnerable. The centre plans to:


  • Offer efficient and timely access to a range of important support services in a single location; some provided directly by the Centre and others by services using Centre’s facilities.
  • Arrange meaningful activities to enhance users’ wellbeing and health
  • Provide a welcoming and non-judgemental space, providing companionship and somewhere warm and dry


The Centre, managed by/with the Open Door Charity, plan to work closely with Centre 33, St Albans Council, Hightown Housing Association and others to ensure integrated services for the people it supports.

Who will the centre support?

Practical support will be aimed at those who are facing social isolation and disadvantage.


  • People using the Centre may simply require a place where they feel welcomed and supported, and where they feel they belong.
  • Those using the service might be vulnerable as a result of:
  • Drug and alcohol use, or mental health problems
  • Experience of domestic violence
  • Having recently left prison
  • Learning disabilities
  • Current housing problems (risk of losing tenancy, in temporary accommodation, rough sleeping etc)
  • An inability to cope with day to day domestic activities, such as budgeting or cooking.

What will the Centre aim to achieve?

The benefits for those using the Centre will include:


  • Improved support, through joint working, across voluntary sector services and with key professional services e.g. for drug and alcohol dependency, or mental health care
  • Improved access to learning and development opportunities
  • Improved prospects of returning to work – paid or voluntary
  • Access to a supportive local network and community
  • More structure and purpose to their days


The broader public benefits and social impact of the Centre will include:

  • Reduced social isolation, with a consequent increase in mental wellbeing
  • Further reduction in both rough sleeping and homelessness
  • Reduced anti-social behaviour and crime
  • Increase in access to employment, education, and meaningful occupation
  • Individual and corporate volunteering opportunities

Due to Covid 19 we have had to put our plans on hold. In the meantime, preparatory work is underway, and we hope to get our new project up and running as soon as we can.


Watch this space!

Please visit the Support us section for more information.​