If you are homeless or if you would like to help someone with a housing need, the guidance below may help.

If you are concerned about the health of a person experiencing homelessness, or if they look unwell, dial 999 for the emergency services. Your intervention could save someone’s life.

What to do if you are homeless or would like to help someone experiencing homelessness:

Contact StreetLink, the homelessness referral service for England and Wales.

StreetLink can connect people experiencing homelessness with local outreach teams or other support in their local area. The service accepts calls from the public and self-referrals from those in need.

Call: 0300 500 0914

Visit their website: www.streetlink.org.uk

Download their app: (Apple or Android)

A number of local YMCAs also accept emergency and self-referrals; however, for the most immediate help, please get in touch with StreetLink in the first instance, who will be able to refer you to the most immediate availability.

Reach out

If you see someone experiencing homeless, treat them with kindness and don’t be afraid to say hello – a conversation can go a long way in improving someone’s state of mind or could be a welcome distraction. Offering a hot or cold drink or food can be helpful too. It’s okay if someone doesn’t want help, but it’s important to ask.

What to do if you are worried you may become homeless

YMCA England & Wales is the largest voluntary provider of supported housing for young people in England and Wales, providing 9,466 beds each night and collectively housing and holistically supporting 20,357 people as they build their lives from a stable base.

Local YMCAs offering housing across England and Wales can be found on our website, alongside contact numbers: Find Your Local YMCA. Please use the ‘categories’ function and select ‘accommodation’.

Aside from YMCA, a number of other organisations can provide support and guidance if you are in a housing crisis. Options include:

  • Your local council’s Housing Department– find contact details for your local council using the directory service for referral requests
  • Citizens Advice– offers practical, impartial information on housing rights on both a national and local level, including issues with landlords etc.
  • Samaritans– if you’re experiencing mental health issues, or feeling low or suicidal, you can call the Samaritans on 116 123, who provide a free listening service and may signpost you to other services

Is there information available in other languages?

Yes. Citizens Advice has factsheets on different topics, including employment and benefits, in a range of languages, including Polish, Czech, Chinese, Punjabi and Gujerati. Visit: www.citizensadvice.org.uk