Being homeless doesn’t mean you are living on the streets. In Scotland being homeless means you may well have a place to stay but it is not appropriate, safe or your own. Homelessness can include:
- staying with friends (also called Sofa Surfing)
- living in hostels or bed and breakfast
- being unsafe, at risk of violence
- living in overcrowded accommodation
- living in environments detrimental to health
- living with a disability in unsuitable accommodation
The first thing to do is speak to your local council and ask to be put through to someone who can help you with being homeless.
I think I might be at risk of being homeless
If you are at risk of becoming homeless you should contact your Local Council as soon as possible.
Councils have dedicated staff and services that will advise and support you to keep your current accommodation or find a new home. The Council will work to find a permanent solution even if a temporary one has to be found immediately.
I’m homeless. I have nowhere to stay tonight.
What can I do?
The first thing you MUST do is contact your Council Homeless service.
The Council has a legal duty to help you if you are homeless or threatened with homelessness.
Each Council has “out of hours” contacts as well as contacts during office hours.
We work with different Councils – each have different systems and guidance.
You can find this information on each Council’s website.
If you need further advice you can call these Freephone helplines:
SHELTER: HOUSING ADVICE LINE – 0808 800 4444
(Monday to Friday 09:00 – 17:00)
THE MIX – 0808 808 4994
Under 25’s (7 days a week 13:00 – 23:00)
The Mix is the UK’s leading digital charity for under 25s, reaching over 4 million young people each year. Whatever issue a young person is facing, The Mix is always there for them – via our website, over the phone or via social media. We connect young people to experts and their peers to talk about everything from money to mental health, homelessness to jobs, break-ups to drugs and more.
The Mix’s mission is to ensure that every young person can make an informed choice about their wellbeing – wherever and whenever they are. We aim to put young people at the centre of everything we do.
Local Councils will advise, support and help you secure accommodation. Sometimes this may be temporary until a more permanent solution can be found. Local Council websites (links below) provide information such as:
1. What to do if you are homeless
2. Where your local office(s) are located
3. Telephone numbers
4. Out of hours services (this varies between Councils, e.g. in North Lanarkshire after 5pm you need to go to a Police Station whilst in Glasgow it is the Glasgow City Mission).
Local Council Homeless Information
Inverclyde Renfrewshire West Dunbartonshire East Dunbartonshire Glasgow East Renfrewshire North Lanarkshire Falkirk West Lothian Edinburgh Midlothian East Lothian Clackmannanshire Fife Dundee Angus Aberdeenshire Aberdeen Moray Highland Na h-Eileanan Siar Argyll and Bute Perth and Kinross Stirling North Ayrshire East Ayrshire South Ayrshire Dumfries and Galloway South Lanarkshire Scottish Borders Orkney Shetland