Emergency accommodation

If you are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, don’t panic. There might be options available to you.

Emergency housing advice

If you need help immediately, phone Shelter Cymru’s helpline on 08000 495 495 to talk to an expert housing adviser. They can:

  • explain your rights
  • tell you your options
  • contact accommodation providers, such as hostels, on your behalf.

If you have more time you could use our webchat or visit advice near you to find a local Shelter Cymru advice surgery.

The following places may also be able to help:

  • Citizens Advice (general advice about most issues)
  • Your local council’s:
    • housing department (advice on housing and homelessness)
    • tenancy relations service (advice on issues between landlords and contract-holders)
    • social services (help for some children and young people, older people and some people with health problems)
  • Police (advice in emergency situations e.g. people facing violence)
  • Welsh Women’s Aid (advice for women experiencing violence from a partner)

For details of other agencies see our Useful Links page.

Emergency housing from the council

Local councils have to give advice and help to people who are homeless or will be homeless soon. In some situations they may also have to provide you with emergency housing, such as a hostel, a refuge or a Bed & Breakfast.

You should contact your local council and make a homelessness application. All councils should operate a 24 hour a day service for people in emergency situations.

Find your local council here.

See our section on Help from the Council for more information.

Nightshelters and hostels

If you’re homeless, a nightshelter or hostel could provide a bed for the night. They are usually run by housing associations, charities, or the local council.


People who become homeless because of violence or threats may be able to get a place in a refuge. If you don’t feel safe in your own area, you may be able to go to a refuge in another part of the UK.

You can get more information on refuges from the Welsh Government’s free, 24-hour Live Fear Free confidential helpline on 0808 80 10 800.

Bed and Breakfast hotels

If you need a place for the night, you may be able to find a place to stay in a bed and breakfast hotel. You can get details of cheap B&Bs in your area from the council or an advice centre.

Staying with friends

If you are homeless and need a place to stay immediately, staying with friends might be a good solution for a short time.

Staying with friends should not mean you have found a home. You could still be classed as homeless and you may still be entitled to help from the council.

There are some important things you should think about before you move in with friends. Take a look at our pages on sharing and subletting for more information.

Sleeping on the streets

Sleeping on the streets can be dangerous and should only be done as a last resort, when there is no other option available.

It’s important to try and stay safe on the streets – have a look at our Staying safe on the streets fact sheet for some ideas to help you.

Are you under 25?

If you are under 25, take a look at our Emergency help page, specifically put together for young people.

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.

Homeless, what can I do?

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This page was last updated on: January 29, 2024

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.