Get a place to stay if you're homeless and on the streets

Find out about hostels, nightshelters and other emergency housing options if you're homeless and on the streets.

How to get into a hostel or nightshelter

You'll need a referral to get into many hostels and nightshelters (especially in London). This means an agency or council will need to contact the hostel on your behalf.

Some hostels and nightshelters will let you call them yourself or turn up in person. This is called self referral.

If you're offered a space in one of these 'direct access' hostels, you can usually move in straight away. Some hostels run a waiting list.

Search for a hostel

Look for hostels or nightshelters on the Homeless Link site and find out how you can be referred. You can filter your search by hostel referral methods to find direct access hostels.

Go to the council

You can apply to the council for help. If you're homeless and meet meet certain criteria, they must try to help you find somewhere to live. This could be a referral to a hostel.

The council will have to provide short term emergency housing if you also have a priority need.

Other emergency options

Find out more about different emergency housing options if you're homeless and on the streets. 

Find out about other practical help you can get while on the streets

If you need more help

If you're struggling to get help with housing from the council, a Shelter adviser may be able to help you find out your rights and look into your options.

Contact a Shelter adviser


Last updated - 10 Dec 2019

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