If you or someone you know is homeless, or are at risk of becoming homeless, use this page as a starting point to find the support you need that can help you get back on your feet.
Firstly, contact your local authority. Your local council only has a duty of care once you inform them about your housing problems and your need for help. Depending on your circumstances, they can help you with either emergency accommodation (shelter/hostel) or longer-term accommodation (social housing).
Secondly, find out about local support. Across the UK, there are a large number of charities working at a local and national level to help you with many of the problems around homelessness.
If you require practical, impartial information contact Citizen's Advice. Alternatively, search the online database by Homeless Link for services across England.
Scroll down for more help and ideas.
If you're homeless, rough sleeping or are concerned about someone who is then the following helplines may be of assistance:
Shelter’s free emergency housing advice helpline can assist you if; you have nowhere to sleep, or might be homeless soon; you have somewhere to sleep, but nowhere to call home; you are/could be at risk of harm; you feel very overwhelmed about your housing situation. The helpline is open every day of the year: 8AM - 8PM on weekdays or 9AM - 5PM on weekends.
Streetlink is a service designed to help connect rough sleepers to local services. They can organise outreach workers to see you where you are bedding down. Streetlink can give you advice and if you are newly street homeless they may refer you to emergency accommodation.
Centrepoint offers advice to anyone in England aged 16-25 who is homeless or at risk. Their free helpline is open Monday - Friday, 9AM - 5PM. They also operate a webchat service. Their advisors are available to chat online Monday to Friday between 10AM - 4PM.
(in alphabetical order)
Action for Children protects and supports children and young people, providing practical and emotional care and support including housing support through their local outreach initiatives.
The Big Issue Foundation was founded in 1995 to offer vital support and specialist services that enable 'vendors' to rebuild their lives and determine their own pathways to a better future.
Centrepoint offers homeless young people accommodation, physical and mental health support, and skills and advice. Centrepoint provides this support in London, Manchester, Yorkshire and the North East.
Crisis was founded in 1967 and offers direct help to people facing homelessness. The charity offers education, employment, housing and well-being services from centres across England, Scotland and Wales.
Part of Depaul International, Depaul UK focuses on young people in crisis and beyond. They offer a safe place to stay in a crisis, help individuals take the step from homelessness into stable housing, and provide specialist long-term support. The charity coordinates the national Nightstop UK service which aims to ensure young people have a secure and safe room for the night.
Emmaus supports people on their way out of homelessness by providing meaningful work and housing in a community setting. Through social enterprises, they raise funds or food, accommodation and a small living allowance for its ‘companions’.
Housing Justice formed in 2003 when the Catholic Housing Aid Society and the Churches' National Housing Coalition merged. The charity supports local, grassroots responses to homelessness and housing needs through projects such as the Winter Night Shelter Model and Immigration Advice Project.
Homeless Link is the national membership charity for organisations working directly with people who become homeless in England. They work with other charities and organisations in the sector to better services and have an online directory of homelessness services across England, including accommodation, day centres and support services.
The Salvation Army runs hostels, drop-in centres and does frontline work with rough sleepers, as well as offering a range of other services across the UK. This can include outreach services, night shelters and addiction services.
Founded in 1966, Shelter offers advice, information, representation and advocacy to people who are homeless, in unsuitable or insecure housing, or at risk of becoming homeless via an online support network as well as advice and support services.
Established in 1969, St Mungo's provides outreach, support and shelter for homeless people in the South of England.
Streetlink connects rough sleepers to homelessness services. The charity runs a website, app and phoneline enabling concerned members of the public to report rough sleepers in England and Wales – the information is then passed on to the local authority outreach teams, who will attempt to contact the individual and connect them with vital services.
In England and Wales, YMCAs offer supported accommodation for vulnerable and homeless young people by working in close partnership with Local Authorities.
(in alphabetical order)
Telephone: 0207 624 8378
Services: Abbey run projects aimed at reducing social isolation and boosting health, wellbeing and employability in our local area such as a children's creche, a community cafe, befriending scheme and self-help groups etc.
Telephone: 020 7227 1673
Services: The Centre focuses on four areas of need - employment, housing, education and skills, and legal status. Their services include employment advice, housing advice, welfare benefits advice, child and family services, English language classes, immigration advice and a medical centre, including substance misuse advice etc.
Telephone: 020 7476 6062
Location: Canning Town
Services: Caritas Anchor House provides accommodation and life-skills support for single homeless adults. They provide education, guidance and personal rehabilitation. They also operate a rough sleeper assessment hub and mutual aid (self-help meetings such as alcoholics anonymous and cocaine anonymous).
Telephone: 020 8801 3004
Services: CARIS Haringey provides a range of services for families in temporary accommodation including for refugees, asylum-seekers, victims of domestic violence, and those with mental health issues. Their services include an advice service is designed to assist homeless in families dealing with their everyday challenges including evictions, benefits decisions, debt, violence, unemployment, poverty etc., as well as a drop-in centre, and English classes.
Telephone: 020 7278 6267
Services: In addition to a shelter, they run various projects such as a mentoring and befriending scheme, English classes, a weekly Friday drop-in club (hot lunch and professional welfare support), a jobs club, a hosting scheme "Home From Home" and a Sunday Club.
Telephone: 020 7766 5544
Location: Charing Cross
Services: The Connection at St Martin's offers emergency accommodation. They also provide tailored employment support and training, volunteering opportunities and housing advice as well as a variety of specialist services to help clients cope with the physical and psychological effects of being homeless.
Telephone: 0300 636 1967
Services: Once you have become a Skylight member (membership is free but you must attend an induction) you can access classes, activities and services such as housing coaches, skills training and workshops (IT, CV writing, English classes), and health services such as counselling, opticians etc.
Telephone: 020 7351 4948
Services: They offer emergency accommodation, advice and support through their open-access network of emergency winter shelters and support services.
Telephone: 020 7725 2851
Location: HPPA operates across nine London boroughs - Camden, Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea, Greenwich, Westminster, Islington, and Lambeth
Services: Groundswell enables people experiencing homelessness to take more control of health. The Homeless Health Peer Advocacy (HPPA) can assist you through the help of Peer Advocates, Case Navigators or Case Workers to improve your confidence in using health services and to increase your ability to access healthcare independently. They can offer practical support, attend appointments with you and pay for travel if necessary.
London Homeless Info is an online information hub for homeless & ex-homeless in London created by ex-homeless. It contains information on homeless day centres and soup kitchens that are still open for food and showers during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Location: London Bridge
Services: The Day Centre (open seven days a week from 8:30AM - 1:30PM, for 51 weeks of the year) provides breakfasts and lunches, hot showers, housing and welfare advice daily. Throughout the week they also offer additional services such as healthcare (nurse, mental health worker, osteopath and chiropodist), advice for migrants and refugees, computer access and a clothing store. All their services are free.
Telephone: 020 7592 1850
Services: The aim of The Passage is to provide resources which encourage, inspire and challenge homeless people to transform their lives. Their services are split between the Resource Centre, which provides more immediate support, and three residential projects which provide accommodation while they secure long term solutions for people and through homelessness prevention projects.
Telephone: 020 7375 0020
Location: East London
Services: Through their Resource Centre, Providence Row provides assistance for people who are rough sleeping. Their services include breakfast, showers and computer access; advice and support for homeless people or those at risk of homelessness; recovery and progression services for people with mental health and substance misuse issues; drug and alcohol outreach and referral; and trainee schemes to help people move into regular learning, volunteering or work.
Telephone: 0207 407 5623
Location: Southwark and Lambeth
Services: The Robes Project provides shelter for those who find themselves homeless. In addition to their winter shelter, they also run a Wednesday Club (lunch club for those who have previously stayed at Robes) and provide support and welfare advice.
Services: SFTS is a free emergency night shelter in London providing bed, dinner and breakfast. They also provide advice and counselling.
Location: Kentish Town
Services: The Simon Community conduct outreach work. Their services include Street Work (where they walk the streets of London at night and offer a hot drink, sandwich and a chat to those who are sleeping rough), soup runs (on Wednesday and Thursday at 8:15PM - Euston, St Pancras Church of England, Dukes Rd, 9:10PM - Temple Place and
10:00pm - Waterloo) tea runs on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 7:15AM - Arundel St, Temple and 7:30AM - Agar St, Strand) and the Street Cafe which they operate from the garden of St Giles in the Field Church.
Telephone: 0204 509 8300
Services: SHP works in communities across all 32 London boroughs, providing support and accommodation, promoting wellbeing and enhancing opportunity for people across the capital. Borough services may differ but typically include: hostels and supported housing, help with accessing treatment for substance use, employment recovery services, mental health support, street outreach, specialist support for offenders (people leaving prison) and support for refugees.
StreetLink London exists to help end rough sleeping in the capital by enabling members of the public to connect people sleeping rough with the local services that can support offer support. If you are concerned about someone over the age of 18 that you have seen sleeping rough in London, you can use this website to send an alert to StreetLink.
Telephone: 020 7702 4260
Services: Thames Reach services include London-wide street outreach, hostels, specialist supported housing, prevention work, health initiatives and a range of employment and education schemes.
Telephone: 020 7392 2953
Services: Toynbee Hall manages an Advice Centre which includes legal (employment, immigration, housing and general), debt (rent/mortgage, council tax arrears, utility debt etc), and advice for people who live, work or study in the City of London Square Mile on welfare benefit, consumer rights, family issues etc. They also run youth and older people’s projects and support financial inclusion work.
LOCAL HOUSING OPTIONS TEAMS
During the day you can approach your local Housing Options / Homeless Prevention Team.
Contact your local authority for the telephone number and opening hours.
Outside office hours, use these emergency numbers for London boroughs: