Support for you or someone you care about

Latest advice and support resources for people who are homeless or could become homeless in the future.

What is homelessness?

Types of homelessness

Rough sleeping is the most visible form of homelessness, and when most people think of a homeless person they tend to think of someone sleeping rough on the streets. Many people who sleep rough will suffer from multiple health conditions, such as mental health problems and drug misuse. They are also in greater danger of violence than the general population.

Local authorities have a duty to secure a home for some groups of people. This is often referred to as the main homelessness duty. Every year, tens of thousands of people apply to their local authority for homelessness assistance.

To be legally defined as homeless you must either lack a secure place in which you are entitled to live or not reasonably be able to stay. However, in order to receive assistance under the main homelessness duty, there are further strict criteria that you have to meet. Local authorities may initially provide temporary accommodation to households who might meet these criteria, mainly families with children.

Many people who are not entitled to help with housing, or who don’t even approach their councils for help, aren’t counted in the official statistics.

Many stay in hostels, squats or B&Bs, in overcrowded accommodation or ‘concealed’ housing, such as the floors or sofas of friends and family.

Being homeless and how it affects your health

The affects on health

Being homeless has a negative impact on someone’s health and makes it difficult to access health services.

Poor mental health is both a cause and consequence of homelessness. There is a higher rate of mental health problems amongst the homeless population than the general population. The onset of mental illness can trigger, or be part of, a series of events that can lead to homelessness. Additionally, mental health issues might well be exacerbated or caused by the stresses associated with being homeless.

Homelessness and poor physical health go hand-in-hand. It is not surprising that sleeping on the streets, in hostels, in squats or in substandard or overcrowded accommodation can have a damaging effect on someone’s physical wellbeing.

Addiction to drugs and/or alcohol is both a cause and consequence of homelessness.

Problems with drugs or alcohol can be part of a person’s spiral into homelessness. Of course not everyone who has problems with alcohol or drugs becomes homeless and not every homeless person has problems with drug or alcohol abuse.

Being homeless is incredibly stressful. It is not uncommon for those traumatised by homelessness to seek solace in drug or alcohol.

Many homeless people face barriers when trying to access health services.

Although many homeless people are registered with healthcare services, many will not be using them. This could be because they have moved away from the area where they are registered with a GP. Or because they have had a bad experience of using heath care services either through treatment or how they were discharged.

A substantial number of homeless people use hospital A&E departments for treatment instead of going to see a GP.

When people are discharged following a hospital admission, many will have nowhere stable to convalesce. With no support, they return to rough sleeping or sofa surfing which won’t aid their recovery.

Local support services in Rotherham

01709 821251

Monday to Friday 9am–5pm

6 Genesis Business Park, Sheffield Road, Rotherham, S60 1DX

Action works with local authority partners to provide high quality general needs accommodation, and also have a number of established support services, which enable vulnerable individuals to establish and maintain a home independently. They also bring empty properties back into use to provide much needed affordable housing for local people. They offer a broad range of support services, including accommodation and floating support across South Yorkshire. They also work with both adults and young people, as well as victims of domestic abuse.

Tel: 01709 364600 between 9.30am–3.30pm, Monday to Friday
Email: info@lighthousehomes.co.uk

71 Westgate, Rotherham, S60 1BQ

Lighthouse Homes offer immediate, medium and long term accommodation to women and men who are homeless. A safe and structured environment with a particular emphasis on helping those with a history of addiction.

General enquiries: 0114 253 6789
Rotherham accommodation: 01709 372079

Roundabout Limited, The Circle, 33 Rockingham Lane, Sheffield, S1 4FW

Roundabout provides support and accommodation services for young people aged 16–25 who are experiencing homelessness or who are vulnerably housed. This service offers a pathway to young people to gain independent living skills and to be supported to achieve their goals and aspirations.

01709 336009
Out of hours: 07748 143170

The Homelessness Team are based at Riverside House, Main Street, Rotherham, S60 1AE and they are available Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5pm. You don’t need an appointment.

During COVID we are asking that people call Keychoices on 01709 336009 to complete a telephone assessment or alternatively send an email to HousingSolutionsTeam@rotherham.gov.uk

For assistance outside of office hours you can phone 07748 143170 or visit Streetlink

Tel: 01709 369295
Email: info@rushhouse.co.uk

Monday to Friday, 9am–5pm

17-18-19 Lindum Terrace, Doncaster Road, Rotherham, S65 1NJ

Rush is a charitable organisation based in Rotherham that provides a range of accommodation and support services including advice, independent living skills and training to young people aged 16-25. They also offer a person centred education, employment and training programme for people aged 18–30.

Tel: 01709 559504

Email: contact@shilohrotherham.org.uk

15 Station Road, Rotherham, S60 1HN

Shiloh is a charity that offers support to adults who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Working in partnership with a range of organisations to offer housing advice, education & training, creative activities and support for health and addictions. The support centre is in Masbrough, which offers a safe place where people can come, be accepted and supported.

The Support Centre is open Mon-Fri to offer help and advice to individuals without appointment. Offering a range of services/activities and drop-in sessions to help adults access timely assistance, overcome barriers and progress towards achieving their goals. Services include:

  • Open Access Drop-in Sessions
  • One to One Support
  • Tenancy Preparation Course
  • Health & Wellbeing Activities
  • Volunteering

Session times:

  • Wednesday: 11am-1pm, Shiloh Drop-in Service
  • Monday & Friday: 10am-1pm, Rotherham Council – Homeless Team

0114 2900 200
0800 1380 380

Open Monday to Friday, 9am–5pm

152 Rockingham Street, Sheffield, S1 4EB

There are various projects offering safe spaces for the homeless including Rotherham Housing First and Rotherham Thursday Project.

01709 703471

11 Fleming Way, Flanderwell, Rotherham, S66 2EY

YWCA’s Fleming Gardens in Rotherham offers housing related support, parenting and life skills training. A purpose built project staffed by a dedicated and specially trained team who are experienced, approachable and specialise in working with young parents and their children.

National support organisations

Tel: 0808 800 4444
Online chat and phone line open 365 days a year

Shelter helps millions of people every year struggling with bad housing or homelessness through our advice, support and legal services. Closest Shelter is Sheffield.

Everyone has the right to good health and to access healthcare. This resources hub provides accessible information for people experiencing homelessness and those supporting them, so people can make informed decisions about their health and wellbeing.

In this hub you’ll find leaflets, posters, films, podcasts, and workbooks on a whole range of physical and mental health topics

Support apps

HealthUnlocked is the world’s largest social network for health. Find and connect with people with a similar health condition. The service has over 700 online communities focused on health and wellbeing topics.


The NHS App gives you a simple and secure way to access a range of NHS services on your smartphone or tablet.
You can use the app if you are aged 13 or over. You must be registered with an NHS GP surgery in England or the Isle of Man. You can also log in through the NHS website on a computer to use NHS App services.


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