If you are experiencing homelessness and you are now wondering what to do next, we have a few suggestions for you. For many reasons like a disaster, domestic violence, or unexpected job loss, one can become homeless. If you are going through this right now, I will try my best to give you the best solution on what to do.
Here, you are going to learn what to do if you are homeless or about to become homeless, and eligibility for shelters.
What Qualifies One to be Homeless?
The following are some instances that qualify one to be considered homeless:
- Your landlord has locked you out of your house
- You have no legal right to live in accommodation anywhere in the world
- You cannot stay in your home may be due to the risk of violence or abuse
- You have to leave your family because there is no suitable accommodation for you
Check if You are in Priority Need
There are a few groups of people who are considered a priority. Check if you belong to any of these categories:
- You are pregnant
- Living with a child
- Homeless because of a disaster like fire or flood
- If you are 16 or 17 and not living with your family
What to Do if You are About to Become Homeless?
If you are homeless or you are about to become homeless, there are a few things that you can do. They include:
1. Reach out to Shelter and Housing Services
There are several community organizations that offer services to homeless people. Reach out to them and let them know you are homeless. If there are no community-designated organizations for homeless people near you, then you might consider shelter providers. Normally, they give a bed, food, and healthcare.
If still you can get any, consider reaching out to a nearby church, library, food pantry, and any nonprofit organization.
Also read: Should you give a homeless person money?
2. Reach Out to Your Local Council
The other thing to do if you are homeless is to reach out to your local council. The council will look into your situation and find the best way to help you. First, check whether you qualify for homeless help before making an application. The Local Council can accept or reject your application. If they reject your application, you can challenge their decision.
3. Borrow a Place to Sleep
If you have relatives or friends, you can borrow them a temporary place to sleep. For instance, if you just lost your job or you are living in fear of violence, if you can get a place in a shelter, consider borrowing a place to sleep in your relatives’ or friends’ spare bedroom. Reach out to your friends and explain to them your situation. If they have a place, they will offer you a temporary place to stay before you can figure things out.
4. Sleep in the Streets
This should be the last option and you should only consider it if you have tried all the other options. It is dangerous to sleep in the streets, but if you have no option, then you would need to find a safe place where you can spend the night.
Also read: Tips for rough sleeping in the streets.
Summary of What to Do if you Become Homeless
On average it takes about 8 weeks to get help from shelters and homeless organizations. As such, you need to look for a temporary place to sleep before you can get help. Besides, there is no guarantee that shelters and homeless organizations will accept your application. So, don’t get comfortable after making an application. Keep looking for ways to get out of homelessness.