What is homelessness?

homeless woman sitting on stairs
Homelessness means not having a stable, safe, appropriate or clean place to live.

You are homeless if you have nowhere to stay and are living on the streets, but you can also be homeless even if you have a roof over your head. You count as homeless if you are:

  • Sleeping on the streets or in a car, tent, car park etc
  • Temporarily staying with friends (‘sofa-surfing’)
  • Staying in emergency accommodation – such as a hostel, night/winter shelter, women’s refuge or B&B
  • Staying in temporary accommodation and waiting to be allocated long-term housing – such as housing with support
  • Squatting
  • At risk of violence or abuse in your home
  • Living in poor conditions that affect your health
  • Living apart from your family because you don’t have a place to live together