GP Access

Most people take access to a GP for granted but if you become homeless, it’s not always so easy. We look at one project helping to raise awareness of your rights when it comes to registering with your GP.



please visit for more information

click on this link to download a card: and please visit for more information and guidance on the my right to healthcare cards. 

Winter shelters 


Temperatures have dropped, and with London in the grips of its first cold snap, we have produced a list of the emergency shelters that will be open in the capital this winter.

Updates may be made to this listing as the winter progresses and more information becomes available about some of the shelters.

The winter shelters are listed under the boroughs in which they operate, so some appear more than once. Crisis at Christmas operates a service across London, and is included as the first entry. Some boroughs are not listed at all - Housing Justice may be able to advise on projects operating in these areas.

The Homeless England website gives more details of the winter shelters, as well as other emergency accommodation, advice and support services for people experiencing homelessness.

Sheltered housing

In this guide we provide practical information on when sheltered housing, assisted living and extra care sheltered housing may be suitable for your relative, the features and facilities they offer, and the renting and buying options.

Use our Care services directory to find care homes, agencies for care at home or local authority services for your relative anywhere in the UK.

If you're wondering what kind of help would be best for your relative or friend, our Care advice tool can give you some guidance about housing options, day-to-day living arrangements and how to pay for care.

In this guide



Homelessness is a complex issue-there is no single cause and no single solution.

St Mungo's Broadway:

Website: uk

Street Link:

If you wish to report yourself, or someone else sleeping rough, you can ring

Tel: 0300 500 0914 


If you are currently sleeping rough in London, Bristol or Reading where St Mungo's Broadway has outreach services, you can e-mail :

or download the app from the Apple store:


Here are some useful contact details for those that find themselves sleeping rough or in need of help from their local authority.

Useful website:




I’m homeless advice guide. This document is a guide to where you can get advice and find services that may help you. Information accurate at time of production. Homeless Link does not take responsibility for the service provided by other agencies or organisations referenced in this document. Page 1


Are you sleeping rough in London tonight?

If you think you will be sleeping rough in London tonight, here are some places you can look for help. Going to the council In order to get housing advice, and understand what help your local authority may be able to offer, you should visit the housing team at your local council. Find out more about how to get this type of help by using our advice guide Getting help from your local council.

You can also find the number for your local council housing services below: Barking & Dagenham

020 8215 3002


01895 250147


020 8359 4797


020 8583 3842


020 8303 7777


020 7527 6321


020 8937 2787

Kensington & Chelsea

020 7361 3008


020 8313 4098


020 8547 5003


020 7974 5801


020 7926 4200

City of London

020 7332 1804


020 8314 7007


020 8726 6100


020 8545 3636


020 8825 8888


020 8430 2000


020 8379 4399


020 8708 4002/3


020 8921 2863


020 8891 7409


020 8356 2929


020 7525 5950

Hammersmith & Fulham

0845 313 3935


020 8770 5800


020 8489 1000

Tower Hamlets

020 7364 7474


020 8424 1093

Waltham Forest

020 8496 3000


01708 432824


020 8871 6840


020 7641 1000



Going to a day centre You can often get practical help from a day centre for homeless people, this can include things like meals, showers, benefits advice and housing support. Day centres will often have information about how to get a referral into a hostel. You can find a day centre near you by using the Find Help directory on the Homeless London website (, and searching for day centres for homeless people in the area where you are.

Getting into hostels Most hostels will only take you if you have a referral, so it is important that you try to get a referral as soon as possible, whether from your local council, a street outreach team, or any other agency. All the accommodation listed on the Homeless London website contains details of how you can get into the accommodation and where you need to get a referral from.

Direct access hostels Very few hostels will take someone without a referral. The list below contains links to the few hostels in London where you can go without a referral. Please be aware that hostel spaces get filled up quickly, you should contact the hostel first to see if they can accommodate you. Irish housing centre – St Louise Hostel, 020 7222 2071 (women only) Missionaries of charity - Home of Peace, 020 8969 2631 or 020 8960 2644 (women only) (You can also search in our Find Help directory on for day centres for homeless people which may be able to provide you with information).

StreetLink StreetLink is a new service designed to help connect rough sleepers to local services. You can find out more about StreetLink, and refer yourself for help if you are sleeping rough, by visiting or by calling 0300 500 0914. (This is not an emergency service).

Winter shelters

There are also some hostels that open specifically in winter to help rough sleepers during the cold weather.Most shelters will require some form of referral from the council, outreach team or a local day centre. Visit the Winter Shelters advice guide on to find out how to access this type of accommodation.


Are you outside London?


If you are not in London, you can search for help and support using Homeless UK can tell you about services for homeless people and people at risk of homelessness anywhere in the UK. You can search the site by postcode, local authority, and location, as well as by type of organisation. If you are sleeping rough, you can also contact StreetLink, using the details above, to get connected to services that can help you.




Are you over 18 and need help finding accommodation?

If you are sleeping rough, you can also contact StreetLink, using the details above, to get connected to services that can help you.


Are you over 18 and need help finding accommodation?

If you are experiencing harassment, domestic violence or ill-health, it is possible that you may be considered in priority need for housing by your council – though many single people are not. You can find out more about if your council can help you by using our Getting help from your council advice guide, or use the numbers listed above to contact your local council. You can also search the Find Help directory on for local housing advice and day centres, or contact the free housing advice Line run by Shelter on 0808 800 4444 (free, 8am – 8pm weekdays, 8am – 5pm weekends).





Unit 6
48 Provost Street 
London, N1 7SU
Tel: 020 7278 4224

Information / drop-in: 
9am - 4pm Monday - Friday - See more at:


For support and guidance for a range of other issues, here are some useful organisations you can contact.

The organisations below support a range of issues, but if you are at risk of homelessness tonight or the near future, find out here how Alone in London can help.

Get Connected
0808 808 4994
Free connection to local and national services and sources of help
(under 25s)
1pm – 11pm Daily

London Street Rescue
0870 383 3333
Help for anyone sleeping rough within the M25 area, provides a link to other borough rough sleeper teams
0870 383 3333

Runaway Helpline
0808 800 7070
Message Home
0800 700 740 
Help and advice for children and young people who have run away from home or care, or who have been forced to leave
24 hour

0845 790 9090
Support for people experiencing emotional distress or despair, including those which could lead to suicide
24 hour

0845 767 8000
Mental health helpline providing information and emotional support to anyone affected by mental health issues.

National Domestic Violence Helpline
0808 2000 247
Information and support for women who are experiencing physical, emotional or sexual violence in the home
24 hour /

Broken Rainbow
0300 999 5428
Helpline service for lesbians, gay men, bisexual and transgender people experiencing domestic violence

Men’s Advice Line
0808 801 0327
Advice information and support for men who are experiencing domestic abuse

Brook Young People’s Information Service
0800 018 5023
Information, support and signposting service on sexual health, contraception, pregnancy and abortion.
Mon - Fri 9am – 5pm

The Site
Really useful information for young people on all aspects of heath care and resources to support emotional well-being.

Muslim Youth Helpline
0808 808 2008
Free and confidential emotional support service for young muslims.

The Havens
London’s sexual assault referral centres
Camberwell 020 3299 1599
Paddington 020 7886 1101
Whitechapel 020 7247 4787

The POPPY Project
020 7735 2062
Accommodation and support for women who have been trafficked into prostitution.

020 791 9600
Sexual Exploitation Service 
Project for girls and boys concerned about sexual exploitation
Age 12 – 21

NHS Direct
0845 4647
Health advice and information
24 Hours

THT Direct
0845 122 1200
Provides information and advice for people affected by HIV

0800 776 600
Advice for anyone concerned about drugs or solvent misuse.
24 hours

0800 731 4314
Advice and information for anyone concerned about alcohol misuse
24 hours

Refugee Council
Provides impartial advice on the asylum process, support and entitlements to refugees and asylum seekers
London advice line: 020 7346 6777
Open Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri: 10am – 1pm and 2 – 4pm, Wed 2-4pm

0800 050 2020
Information and advice on legal rights, counselling and support services for lesbian, gay and bi-sexual people.

0808 800 5792
Advice information and advocacy service of children in care
Mon – Fri
9.30am – 5.30pm

Parentline Plus
0808 800 2222
Helpline for anyone involved in caring for children
24 hour

- See more at:


Are you homeless or about to be made homeless? Ask for help as quickly as possible.

Call Civil Legal Advice on 0345 345 4345 for free legal advice, if you are eligible for legal aid. 

Call Shelter's helpline on 0808 800 4444 if you have nowhere to stay right now

Housing advice helpline

Key advice

  • Your call may take 10 to 20 minutes so set aside some time
  • Try to organise a quiet place where you can talk
  • Our helplines do get busy but keep trying if you can’t get through

Call Shelter's free housing advice helpline on:

0808 800 4444

Shelter's helpline is open 8am–8pm on weekdays and 8am–5pm on weekends, 365 days a year.

Our housing experts will offer support to you no matter what your housing situation.

Calls are free from UK landlines and all major UK mobile operators. Other networks may charge.

You can also talk to a Shelter adviser face-to-face. Find your nearest Shelter advice centre.

Shelter advice centres

Key advice

  • Shelter services are all listed in our advice services directory
  • You will find details of opening hours and how to contact each service
  • Some centres offer drop in appointment but at others you will need to call ahead to book a time

Shelter has 14 advice centres in England where you can go to get personal, face-to-face advice from a housing expert.

Our solicitors help anyone eligible for legal aid with free, confidential legal advice. Please call for more information or to make an appointment.

Birmingham 0344 515 1800

Bristol 0344 515 1430

Bournemouth 0344 515 1400

Truro  0344 515 2300

Plymouth 0344 515 2399

Crawley 0344 515 1749

Colchester 0344 515 1860

Blackburn 0344 515 1831

Liverpool 0344 515 1900

Manchester   0344 515 1640

Newcastle 0344 515 1601

Norwich 0344 515 1860

Sheffield 0344 515 1515

Slough 0344 515 1380

To speak to someone about your nearest face-to-face centre, call the Shelter Support Helpdesk on 0300 330 1234. 

Our Advice Services Directory lists details of advice services by region, including Citizens Advice, independent housing aid centres and council offices.

Search the Advice Services Directory to find advice services in your area

Emergency housing through Nightstop schemes

Nightstop and similar emergency housing schemes for homeless young people aged 16 to 25 can provide free, safe, supportive and welcoming environment in the home of a volunteer. Stays can be anything from just one night to a few weeks.

A stay in one of these schemes can help with sudden homelessness. Many young people using the schemes have been asked to leave their family home, or have left home suddenly when they have fallen out with a family member, or have left a hostel, and would otherwise risk sleeping rough or sofa-surfing.

A scheme won't usually be able to help if you have a recent history of violence, arson or sexual offences, or a serious criminal record, and may not be able to help if you have health or other issues that they can't support. However, there may be other agencies who can help you.

Nightstop schemes are typically run by charities and coordinated by the national charity Depaul UK, which sets standards for the schemes. There are about 40 Nightstop schemes in the UK, but not in every area.

Crashpad schemes or Supported Lodgings schemes run by other charities or local councils may also provide emergency short-term help. The schemes check and approve the hosts offering their homes to young people to make sure they are safe places to stay.

Use Shelter's directory to find a local adviser to check which schemes are available in your area.

Finding a place using a Nightstop or similar scheme

Find out if there is a Nightstop scheme in your area by checking for schemes on Nightstop UK.

Search for Nightstop and other similar schemes on Homeless UK.

Helplines can provide information about Nightstop and other schemes in your area:

Other sources of help include the following:

  • a council housing options or housing advice service – check for details of your local council
  • you may be entitled to help from your local council if you're a homeless young person aged 16 or 17 and have no adult to look after you
  • an advice service or day centre for young people – use Homeless UK to find local advice and support
  • a Shelter advice centre, Citizens Advice or other advice agency – use our directory to find one

Many of these organisations can tell you how to get referred to a scheme, advise you on your longer-term options or on other help that may be available in your area if you can't get a place to stay through a Nightstop or similar scheme.

The information you give to any of these organisations is usually just between you and the person you speak to. They won't tell anyone else unless you agree to it or you are in danger.

What to expect when using a Nightstop scheme

When you are referred to a Nightstop or emergency housing scheme, you are asked about yourself and your situation. If the scheme finds you a place to stay, you get a room to yourself, the chance to have a bath or shower, wash your clothes, have an evening meal and breakfast the following morning. You also have the company and support of your host.

You may be able to stay for a few days to a week or more, but sometimes the stay is just for one night. Each Nightstop scheme has a pool of volunteers, so you may have to move from the home of one volunteer to the home of another. The Nightstop scheme arranges this. During the day, you are not usually allowed to stay in the volunteers' home or leave your bag or belongings there.

Nightstop and similar schemes usually work with you to find longer-term solutions to your housing problems. This may include helping you and your family sort out your difficulties through family mediation or finding you a place in a hostel or foyer for young people.



Bay Lodge, 36 Harefield Road, Uxbridge, London UB8 1PH

020 8797 9500

Monday–Friday: 8:30am–5pm

Map   Website:

Works to transform the lives of people suffering the effects of homelessness and exclusion in Hillingdon and Hounslow. Provides supported housing; opportunities for learning, training and qualifications; and opportunities to secure a living wage. Literacy and numeracy programmes.

Accommodation/housing advice, Advocacy, Benefits advice, Careers advice, Debt advice, Education/training, Tenancy support 

 visit the pavement's brilliant website for more information.