What to do if you are homeless, rough sleeping or in a housing crisis.

Seek local authority support

Councils, or "local authorities", have a duty to help people experiencing homelessness.

If you are homeless, sleeping rough or facing a housing crisis, your first priority should be to contact your local authority's Housing Options team to find out what help they can offer. 

Depending on your circumstances, this could be:

  • Emergency accommodation - a place in a shelter or hostel
  • Longer-term accommodation - independent living or social housing. If possible, you should approach the council you have a local connection to, usually in the area you've most recently lived. 

You can use the Government's website to find your local council

Use StreetLink

If you are currently sleeping on the streets, use StreetLink. This is the national rough sleeper referral line and will help you to tell St Mungo's outreach teams, local authorities, and other homeless organisations about your situation and where you are sleeping rough. They will then connect you to local support and help you. 

StreetLink's volunteers and staff will help you as soon as they can - but please don't wait. Seek other help in the meantime if you can. For example, contacting your local council, or visiting a day centre.

Visit a day centre

If you're sleeping rough or experiencing homelessness, you can also visit a day centre.

Day centres can help you by providing:

  • Food, shelter and washing facilities
  • Housing advice
  • Skills and employment training
  • Social and support networks

Not all day centres offer everything, but staff will be able to direct you to the help you need if they can't help you themselves.

You can find the nearest option for you by looking at Homeless Link's searchable database of homeless services.

Contact housing organisations

If you're in a housing crisis, sleeping rough should be a last resort. If you currently have a home or accommodation, try to do what you can to keep it.

  • Talk to your council and see what help they could offer you
  • Call your bank or creditors to see what financial help might be possible
  • Contact Shelter, a homelessness and housing advice charity, to see what help is available to you.

Shelter will be able to help you understand your rights, access your needs, and help you to explore the options available to you. You can contact Shelter's Housing advice helpline on 0808 800 4444 (free from landlines and on most mobile networks), or by visiting their website.

Taking the first step is important as it may mean you have more options.

If you're worried about paying your rent, you should speak to advisory organisations such as Citizen's Advice, Step Change or Money Helper. They'll be able to help you look into options like debt management plans, or direct you to help available to you.

We work with Refugee Action to help some people in crisis. You can contact the Refugee Council which offers advice and information about seeking asylum and being a refugee.