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

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

Contact the council

The council should provide emergency housing if they think that you're in priority need or vulnerable, and you meet the immigration conditions.

You might be seen as vulnerable during coronavirus even if the council has not helped much in the past, especially if you're over 55 or have underlying health conditions.

Even if you don't meet these conditions you should still ask for help if you're on the streets and either:

  • the weather is very cold

  • you need to self isolate because of coronavirus

How to contact your council's homeless team

What is your location?

How to get into a hostel

You need a referral to get into many hostels - especially in London. This means a charity, outreach team or council will need to contact the hostel on your behalf.

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

If you're offered a room in a 'direct access' hostel, you can usually move in straight away. Some hostels run a waiting list.

Search for a hostel

Use the Homeless Link tool to find:

  • hostels near you

  • how you can be referred

Select 'Accommodation' under Type of service

Night shelters

Night shelters offer a very basic place to stay for people who would otherwise be on the streets. You usually have to share the sleeping space with others.

Many night shelters remain closed because of coronavirus but they are open in some areas.

Find out more about night shelters during coronavirus.

Help from outreach teams

You can contact Streetlink if you're sleeping rough, or if you're worried about someone who is on the streets.

Streetlink can connect you with local outreach teams by passing on your location and description.

Outreach teams are usually charity workers who come out overnight to try and help people who are bedding down or sleeping rough. They can sometimes help you access emergency housing or hostels.


Last updated: 22 February 2021

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