Being homeless means not having a regular, secure home that you can feel safe and comfortable in. It can also mean not having a roof over your head and having to sleep on the street.
There are many reasons why people become homeless. It can be that you have fallen out with your family, you are unable to remain in your housing because you can no longer afford it, left home because you suffered abuse or domestic violence or have been evicted. Whatever the reason, it is important to realise having nowhere permanent to live is not something to be ashamed of and there is help available. There are a number of organisations that can help you for free and in confidence to make sure you have somewhere safe to stay as soon as possible.
One of those organisation is Shelter Cymru, see their video below.
This section provides information on the various organisations that can you or someone you know if you become homeless. These organisations include: The Mix – Help, I am Homeless, Shelter Cymru, RCT – Homelessness Advice and Support, Llamau and The Wallich.
If you think you might become homeless, it is crucial that you take action straight away. Seek advice immediately from an organisation – see above a list of organisations that can give you advice and guidance on homelessness.
If you are aged 16-25 years old, there are certain things you can do to prevent yourself becoming homeless. Your first step is to contact your local authority. Depending on your personal circumstances, the local authority might be able to find you accommodation.
If you are a ‘priority need’, the local authority may have a legal duty to house you. You are a priority need if you:
- Are pregnant
- Have dependent children who reside with you
- Are aged 16 or 17 years old
- Are a person under 21 who was looked after, accommodated or fostered between the ages of 16 and 18, but is not any longer
- Are homeless or threatened with homelessness as a result of an emergency, such as a flood or fire
- Are vulnerable as a result of mental illness, physical disability or other special reason
- Are a person formally serving in the regular Armed Services of the Crown who has been homeless since leaving those forces
- Have been remanded in custody
- Are vulnerable as a result of ceasing to occupy accommodation because of violence or threats of violence from another person
If you are thinking of leaving home because of a family argument or breakdown, think first. Many young people who do this can end up homeless. Visit our Leaving Home section for advice on resolving family problems and staying at home or call Llamau Mediation Services if you are worried about talking to your family yourself
Being homeless can be a frightening and dangerous experience so avoid it at all costs and always ask for help if you need it. There will always be someone who can offer you advice on what to do next.
Hostels And Night Shelters
Although there are hostels and night shelters available to homeless people, they are usually full so getting a bed for the night can be difficult. They are usually run by the local authority, charities or housing associations. For information on a hostel or shelter near you, call Shelter Cymru for free on 0345 075 5005. Shelter Cymru do not run their own hostels or night shelters but can put you in touch with places in your area.
- Some hostels or shelters run waiting lists because the demand is so high. It is a good idea to try and get your name put forward on the waiting list by an agency like Shelter Cymru or the local council to increase your chance of getting a place
- Some will accept people on the door, but only if they have room for an extra person, and some only help certain groups of people, such as single young people, those with drug or alcohol problems, those with mental health problems or those most in need (been on the street the longest)
- Night shelters are usually free of charge, but most hostels will ask for payment. Both offer food, although it might be at a charge in a hostel
- Accommodation standards vary, but night shelters are usually very basic