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Helping Christians Respond To Social Needs

Bristol Homeless Forum
Road Map - Access



This is part of the BCAN Road Map of services for homeless people. The main pages are:

Access: how can I find help? Timetable: when is it provided?
Services: what is provided? Organisations: who provides it?
Context: structures and policies Words: names and abbreviations
Related: relevant services Links: other web sites


1.   Finding Help
  1a.     In general
  1b.     Problems
2.   Sources of Help
  2a.     Publications
  2b.     Places
  2c.     Online

1.   Finding Help

1a.   In general

In general, it is fairly easy to get help for:

  • Young people (under 17)
  • Single females (but be aware that it is no longer the case that single females are automatically regarded as being in priority need)
  • Families (couples with children)

It is much harder to get help for couples without children and single males, unless they are vulnerable in some way.

From the Council web site Homelessness and prevention page:

If you are homeless or threatened with homelessness, in the first instance you should visit your local Customer Service Point. If necessary, they will make a referral to either the Family Homelessness and Prevention Team or The Hub (for single people or couples with couples without children). The Hub may be able to help in a number of ways including referral to the Compass Centre.

There is a chronic shortage of available social housing in Bristol. Bristol City Council therefore tries to prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place and help you stay in your existing home but if this is not possible we will try to offer you decent, affordable housing solutions without the use of emergency accommodation.

Most people who are homeless will need assistance from a range of organisations. But, if you are homeless, or threatened with being made homeless, you should make contact with the relevant council workers as soon as possible. The two options are:

1b.   Problems

Opening Hours.

  • Most services operate normal office hours.
  • Outside these times, in an emergency, the police should provide a place of safety.


  • By 'pets' we mainly mean 'dogs'.
  • This is a big problem: very few places can take people with pets.
  • Homeless people are often very attached to their pets, so simply taking them away is generally not an option.


  • Very few places will take someone with a history of violence.

2.   Sources of Help

Beyond those already mentioned.

2a.   Publications

The key publication is the Survival Handbook produced by Caring at Christmas each year.

2b.   Places

The drop-ins will offer help and advice. Where possible, go as early in the day, and as early in the week as you can manage. Very little will be possible at 4:30 on a Friday afternoon, wherever you go.

2c.   Online

There are many online directories of services.


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This page last updated: 28 August 2009
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