Nightstop schemes

Nightstop schemes are for young people aged 16 to 25. These schemes can arrange emergency accommodation for the night with someone who has a spare room.

How does Nightstop work?

Nightstop schemes provide emergency accommodation for young people in the homes of ordinary people who have volunteered to help. You can usually only stay for one night at a time with each host, where you will get:

  • a room to yourself
  • the chance to have a bath or shower
  • a meal in the evening and breakfast the following morning.

You will probably be asked to go back to the Nightstop scheme each morning, or to the organisation that found you a place through Nightstop. They can help you look for longer term accommodation or arrange another Nightstop.

Nightstop schemes are typically run by charities and coordinated by the national charity Depaul UK, which sets standards for the schemes. There are about 33 Nightstop schemes in the UK, but not in every area.

Who can use Nightstop?

Nightstop schemes can help most homeless young people aged 16 to 25. However, they won’t usually accept people who:

  • are currently using drugs or alcohol
  • have mental health problems that can’t be controlled by medication
  • have a recent history of violence, arson or sexual offences, or a serious criminal record

This is because people who offer their spare rooms to Nightstop schemes wouldn’t be able to provide the extra support you may need. If you are in this situation, get help. There may be a specialist hostel that can help you and you might be entitled to accommodation and support from the council.

How do I get a place?

Not all areas have Nightstop schemes and there are only a handful in Wales. Contact Nightstop UK or ask your local Shelter Cymru office if there is one in your area. If there is one, ask them to put your name forward. They will have to ask you some questions about your situation before they contact the local Nightstop scheme on your behalf. They will need to know, for example, if you are vegetarian or have a medical condition such as diabetes. The information you give them 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 about longer term options?

Using a Nightstop scheme can give you time to look for longer term accommodation. Get help to find out what your options are. An adviser can look into your situation and may be able to:

  • check whether the council’s housing and/or social services departments have a legal responsibility to house you
  • tell you what benefits you may be entitled to and help you to claim them
  • arrange a place in a specialist hostel or foyer for young people
  • put you in contact with a local deposit scheme and/or help you apply for a grant or loan to cover rent in advance.

We are sorry that we cannot provide this information in Welsh, however if you would like to speak to an adviser in Welsh please contact 08000 495 495.

Phone an adviser

If you have a housing problem, call our expert housing advice helpline
08000 495 495

Email an adviser

If you have a non-urgent problem and would like to speak to an advisor
email us

Did you find this helpful?

This page was last updated on: April 5, 2023

Shelter Cymru acknowledges the support of Shelter in allowing us to adapt their content. The information contained on this site is updated and maintained by Shelter Cymru and only gives general guidance on the law in Wales. It should not be regarded or relied upon as a complete or authoritative statement of the law.