Many hostels and shelters only give beds to people who have been referred to them by other services. Read this advice from Shelter if you are in England on how to get into a hostel or a night shelter. In Scotland, read Shelter's advice on emergency accommodation.
If you need a bed for the night, do an internet search for 'homeless hostel' or 'homeless day centre' plus the name of the area you are in. If you are in London, include the borough you are in (such as Hackney or Lambeth). If you are in a city or town, include the name of it.
The Pavement also has a list of hostels on its services page.
Your local council has to provide you with advice on your housing situation and alternative housing options. If you know the postcode of where you are, find your local council in England and Wales. You may have to 'apply as homeless' with your local council. Shelter provides information on how to make a homeless application in Scotland.
If you are homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless, your local council are likely to have a duty to help you stay in your home or find accommodation. They may also have a duty to house you depending on your circumstances, such as if you have dependent children.
From the 3rd April 2018, the law in England (Homelessness Reduction Act) has changed to improve the help and support that local councils need to provide. Find out more about what these changes mean (PDF).
Whatever you're going through, The Samaritans can offer emotional support. Their free and confidential helpline is always open on 116 123.
Citizen's Advice can help with practical matters such as rights and the law, debt, housing, and benefits. There are local centres in most towns and cities.
The Money Advice Service give free and impartial advice on debt and benefits.
The National Domestic Violence Helpline is a national service for women experiencing domestic violence. The helpline is free and open 24 hours a day on 0800 2000 247.
Men experiencing domestic violence can contact Men's Advice Line on 0808 801 0327 between 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.
Asylum Advice UK provides confidential and impartial advice and guidance to adult asylum seekers and their dependants throughout the UK in many different languages. Call 0808 8000 630 (free from BT and the seven major mobile networks).
Missing People is there for people who run away and go missing in the UK. Their free and confidential helpline is on 116 000. It is open 24-hours a day.
If you are under 25, The Mix run a free helpline (0808 808 4994) which is open from 11am to 11pm every day. Centrepoint's helpline 0808 800 0661 is open Monday-Friday from 9am-5pm. You can also get advice on Centrepoint's website. If you identify as LGBT and are aged between 16 and 25 you can get help and support from the Albert Kennedy Trust.
If the person appears to be in immediate danger you should call 999.
If you are worried about someone’s housing situation, direct them towards Shelter's free Housing Advice Helpline on 0808 800 4444.
If the person is young you can find advice on the Centrepoint website.
Rough sleepers in England and Wales
If you are aware of someone who is sleeping rough in England or Wales, contact Streetlink so they can be connected to the local services and support available to them.
Rough sleepers in Scotland
In Scotland you can phone the Simon Community on 0800 0277466 who help rough sleepers in the Glasgow area. They will also find support for homeless people outside of Glasgow.
We can help you if you are near one of our centres and currently homeless, at risk of being homeless or have been homeless in that last two years.
Every year we work with thousands of people to help them rebuild their lives and leave homelessness behind for good. How we can help depends on someone's needs and situation.
One of our friendly experts will spend time with you to work out what you need. We could help you with:
I started coming to the Crisis women’s group. Getting up, getting dressed, coming to a group, meeting other people – it made a massive difference. When you haven’t been working and haven’t been studying or been doing anything academic – it’s amazing the things that you lose. Crisis has given me so much strength and I believe in myself. I’ve never believed in myself. I tell everyone: “Go to Crisis”. I carry the timetables in my bag and hand them out – because I know it works. Malindie, Coventry