What to Do If You Become Homeless

Every 18 minutes a household becomes homeless in Scotland. Young people between 16-25 are particularly vulnerable to homelessness. 

What is homelessness?

We often think of homelessness as sleeping rough on the streets. But you can be classed as homeless if:

  • you don't have a legal right to stay anywhere
  • where you are staying is unsuitable for your needs
  • you are sleeping on a friends' sofa
  • you are living in poor conditions
  • you are staying somewhere you don't feel safe

There are many reasons why you might become homeless, including the breakdown of a relationship, losing your job or a natural disaster like a fire or flood. The majority of people who become homeless don't remain so for long.

Getting Help

If you're homeless, or think you might become homeless, contact your local council. They who will assess your specific circumstances and help you plan your next steps. If you're found to be homeless, the council are bound to offer you advice and assistance. This could take the form of legal help, arranging meetings with a housing officer or even setting you up in temporary accommodation. Find your local council.

During your assessment, your council might designate you as vulnerable. This could be because you're under 18, have a registered disability or experience mental health problems. If so you may be assigned to a social worker who will help assess your particular needs.

Sleeping on the Streets

There might be situations where you have no option but to sleep on the streets. This can be dangerous and should only be done if you have no other options. Take a look at Shelter's tips on staying safe on the streets.

Even if you are sleeping on the streets, you're still entitled to benefits, medical care and voting rights. Read more.

Where to Get Help

There are many places you can find help if you're homeless or are worried about becoming homeless.