Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

If you have nowhere to stay tonight

This advice applies to England

You might be able to get a place to stay in a hostel, night shelter, refuge or bed and breakfast if you're homeless.

If you’ve been rough sleeping and you’re not a British citizen your right to stay in the UK might be affected. If you’re applying to the EU Settlement Scheme, your application cannot be turned down because of rough sleeping. Talk to an adviser if you’re worried that rough sleeping might affect your immigration status.

If you’re aged 16 or 17

It’s usually worth applying to social services for homeless help. Social services are more likely to help you, and they’ll usually give you more help.

If you apply to your local council, they’ll ask if you’re happy for them to do a ‘joint assessment’. This means social services will also look at your application, and they will usually end up helping you.

If you’ve recently been living in care, you usually have to apply to social services rather than your local council.

Check how to get homeless help from social services.

To find somewhere to stay ask your local council for contact details of hostels, night shelters, refuges and bed and breakfasts.

You should first check if you can get emergency housing from your local council.

You'II usually have to pay to stay in most types of accommodation. If you're on a low income or benefits you can get help with your rent costs.

Getting a place in a refuge

If you can’t stay in your home because of violence, threats or any other abuse, it’s best to try to get a place in a refuge. They can help to keep you safe because they don’t advertise their address details. You can also get specialist advice and support.  

You can arrange to get a place in a refuge by contacting:

Refuge or Women's Aid on 0808 2000 247 at any time

Calls to these numbers are free.

If you don't want to call the refuge yourself you can be referred by your local council. You could also ask your nearest Citizens Advice to refer you.

If you can’t find a place in a refuge, contact your local council - they should find somewhere safe for you to stay. You can find your local council on GOV.UK.

Getting a place in a hostel or night shelter

As well as getting contact details of hostels and night shelters from your local council, you can also search for somewhere to stay on the Homeless Link site.

You'll usually need to be referred to a hostel or night shelter by an advice or support agency. Contact your nearest Citizens Advice to see if they can refer you

Some places will let you call or walk-in to book a place - it’s best to call first to check if you can visit to book a place.

Other help you can get

Contact your nearest Citizens Advice or your local council to find out if you can get details of practical support. This includes where you can get:

  • hot meals
  • showers
  • advice

Your nearest Citizens Advice can also check if you can claim benefits and help you find longer-term housing.

Did this advice help?
Why wasn't this advice helpful?

Please tell us more about why our advice didn't help.

Did this advice help?

Thank you, your feedback has been submitted.

Additional feedback