Being homeless or being threatened with homelessness is a really scary thing. It could be that you've been kicked out of home, or you're at risk of violence, or that your parents have left the country, or that you can no longer stay in the property where you currently live. Whatever the reason, there are steps you can take to ensure that you do not end up on the streets.
If you are homeless or at risk of homelessness, you can drop in to the No Limits advice centre for referral to youth housing projects or floating support workers, to use the phone and newspapers to find private rented accommodation, and for support if you have run away.
You can find out what sort of accommodation you can get and what money you might need to pay for it, working through a budget to see if you can afford it, attend an Access to Tenancy training course to make sure you know all you need to know about living independently. You can find out how to access a Rent Bond if you cannot afford a deposit. Homeless young people can access shower and laundry facilities, toiletries and clean clothes.
The national websites below have loads of useful info if you find yourself faced with homelessness, but if you can't find the information you need or would rather speak to someone on the phone, you can also ring any of the following for free:
- Shelter Helpline
0808 800 44 44
- Get Connected
0808 808 4994
If you are under 16 or have been in care, contact Southampton Multi-agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH). They have a duty to provide accommodation for you and to help with your situation. Children's Services offices are open 8.30am-5pm Monday to Thursday and 8.30am-4.30pm on Fridays and you can get in touch with them by calling 023 8083 3336.
You can also contact them in the evenings and at weekends on 023 8023 3344. This helpline is staffed by social workers and other specialists and can be used to get emergency help when offices are closed.
Local councils have a legal duty to provide help to certain people who are homeless or threatened with homelessness. The level of help will depend on your circumstances - whether you are 'eligible for assistance', whether you are in 'priority need', whether you became homeless deliberately and whether you have a link to the area. The rules on eligibility are quite complex so you really need to get down to your local council's housing department as soon as possible to register as homeless. Remember, you can make an application BEFORE you are actually homeless, if you know that is what is going to happen.
023 8083 2327 – Homelessness Unit