The stark reality of homelessness

Homelessness can happen to anyone

Anyone can become homeless. And helping them back on their feet requires ongoing support tailored to their individual needs. We offer support to people experiencing homelessness, regardless of their background or experience. We also have specialist staff and partners who can work with specific groups of people.


A migrant is a term for anyone who has permanently left their country of origin. There are lots of reasons why migrants might travel to the UK. They might be looking for education, employment or to re-join family, or they might be fleeing poverty, natural disaster, or civil unrest.

People who leave their country to seek safety from human rights abuses or persecution are called asylum seekers. Seeking asylum is a human right, and successful applicants are granted refugee status, with protection under international law.

St Mungo’s is made up of a diverse group with volunteers, supporters and colleagues from around the world, which means we have the unique skills and experiences to support all the different people we help in our goal to end homelessness for good.


Women experience homelessness differently to men. They are much more likely to be ‘hidden homeless’, meaning sofa surfing, living in squats, or sleeping on buses, because it’s dangerous being visible on the street. This can also make it harder to reach them and offer support.

Women experiencing homelessness also often have severe, interrelated and complex problems. These usually stem from domestic abuse and other trauma, which contribute to their homelessness and can make recovery even more challenging.

We run dedicated women only services to support women who need an environment to feel safe and recover. We also have a wide range of tools and ways of working that support women across all of our services, including mixed provision.

Criminal justice

Our Offender Services team has been providing support in prisons for almost 20 years. We run services commissioned under the “transforming rehabilitation” initiative by the Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRC), offering housing advice and support in 14 prisons.

Beyond prisons, we work with ex offenders and probation services in Hertfordshire, Bristol, Bath and South Gloucestershire, and outreach services in Westminster.


A pet can be a source of comfort and protection for someone sleeping on the streets. Many people are forced to choose between shelter and their companion, and this means many people sleep in dangerous conditions so they are not separated.

Here at St Mungo’s, we recognise that pets can be a lifeline for someone experiencing homelessness. That’s why we are one of the only charities to offer pet friendly accommodation

Paul and Treacle's story

Paul had been sleeping rough on and off since the age of 15. He struggled to find a hostel that would accept him and his dog, Treacle.

Paul didn’t have a support network he could turn to who could help, and so he wound up sleeping rough for a very long time. When Treacle became his companion, she also became his lifeline.

For Paul, having Treacle while living on the streets was one of the few things that kept him going.

Looking after her helped him to feel grounded, gave him a purpose and provided protection. He couldn’t and wouldn’t be separated from her.

"When I was selling the Big Issue someone came up to me with £1k in an envelope, trying to buy her. I said no way, you could give me a blank cheque I still wouldn’t take it."

Paul was able to bring Treacle with him into St Mungo’s accommodation. And with our ongoing support, was able to rebuild his life with his best friend.

We caught up with Paul two years after coming into contact with him. He and Treacle now live in a one bedroom flat, and are doing better than ever. Watch the video below to learn more.

"She gives me something to focus on. She needs looking after, so it keeps me focussed. Otherwise I’d just be roaming around living in doorways. Gave me a kick up the butt to get myself sorted. It doesn’t matter where we’ve been, whether we’ve been living in a tent or in a doorway. So long as she’s with me, she’s happy."

Help save two lives today.

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Have you seen someone sleeping rough? You can refer them to us via StreetLink.

You can refer someone you’ve seen sleeping rough via their their website.

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