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

I’m currently homeless or sleeping rough

If you’re currently sleeping on the streets, please contact StreetLink. StreetLink is the national rough sleeper referral service, managed by Homeless Link in partnership with St Mungo's. Contact them by:

Visiting the StreetLink website

Downloading the StreetLink app from iTunes or the Google Play store.

StreetLink’s volunteers and staff will help as soon as they can – but please don’t wait. If you’re able to, please seek other help in the meantime. Your first priority should be your Local Authority's Housing Options team.

Your Local Authority

Councils, or “Local Authorities”, have a duty to help people experiencing homelessness. If you can, please contact your local council to find out what help they can offer. Depending on your circumstances, this could be:

  • Emergency accommodation – like a place in a shelter or hostel
  • Longer-term accommodation – such as social housing. If possible, you should approach the council you have a local connection to – usually the place you’ve most recently lived. You can use the Gov.uk website to find your local council.
People talking at an advice centre

Advice & day centres

If you’re able to, we’d encourage you to visit a day centre for people experiencing homelessness. Homeless Link provides a searchable database of homelessness services so you can find the nearest option for you. Day centres can help you by providing:

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

Not every day centre offers the same facilities. If you have a particular need, staff at one day centre will be able to direct you to the help you need.

In need of refugee advice or information?

We work with Refugee Action to help some people in crisis. The Refugee Council offers advice and information on a range of questions people may have about seeking asylum and being a refugee.

 

 

Finding other options

Sleeping rough should be a last resort. If you currently have housing, try what you can to keep it. If you’re at risk of losing your home, seek help where possible. Talk to your council, the Citizen’s Advice or other organisations, such as your bank or creditors, to see what can be done to ease your situation. If you already have a relationship with them, most organisations like banks or councils have an obligation – a “duty of care” – to help people in vulnerable positions. Any extra help, whether it’s through extra benefits or debt repayment plans, could help make your situation more manageable.

I’m in a housing crisis

If you currently have a home or accommodation, try what you can to keep it. Talk to your council, your bank or creditors, and organisations like Shelter to see what help is available to you. Taking the first step is important as it may mean you have more options. Don't delay until it's too late.

Your Local Authority

Councils, or “Local Authorities”, have to help people experiencing homelessness. If you can, please contact your local council to find out what help they can offer. Depending on your situation, this could be:

  • Emergency accommodation – like a place in a shelter or hostel
  • Longer-term accommodation – such as social housingIf you can, you should talk to the council you have a local connection to – usually the place you’ve most recently lived. You can use the Gov.uk website to find your local council.

Contact Shelter

Shelter is a homelessness and housing advice charity. They will be able to help you understand your rights, assess 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 most mobile networks), or by visiting their website.

Money advice and debt charities

If you’re worried about paying your rent, you should speak to advisory organisations like the Citizen’s Advice, StepChange or the Money Advice Service. They’ll be able to help you look into options like debt management plans, or direct you to help available to you.