Emergency housing if you’re homeless: night shelters

Find out about night shelters - how to get a place, how much they cost and what they're like.

Find a night shelter near you

To find a night shelter near you:

Search for hostels or night shelters in your area on Homeless Link

If you find a hostel or night shelter, call them and see if you need to:

  • book ahead or turn up in person
  • arrive by a certain time
  • have a local connection
  • get a referral, for example from the council, social services or an advice centre

Get help finding a place to stay if you're on the streets.

What they offer

Night shelters offer a basic place to stay. You'll usually be sharing a dormitory or a room with a person of the same sex.

You'll have to get there at a set time in the evening and will have to leave by around 8:30am. You won't be able to stay there during the day.

Night shelters are run by volunteer staff who may be able to connect you to other services, such as help finding a place to stay in the daytime and longer-term housing.

Night shelters usually offer help with your practical needs, including:

  • a free evening meal and breakfast
  • toiletries
  • help with benefits

Find out about getting more help with your practical needs.

When they're open

Night shelters are open year-round but only at night.

Once you've found one, call them to find out their hours and where you can go during the day.

How much they cost

Many are free but some cost between £2 and £5 per night.

Who they're for

They're for anyone who would otherwise be on the street and needs a place to stay for a few nights in an emergency.

You may need to be claiming benefits to stay at a night shelter. Ask them about this when you call.

You can also ask them what rules they have, for example about alcohol or pets, and how long you can stay.

Last updated - 12 Sep 2017

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