Homelessness and coronavirus (COVID-19)

Homelessness and coronavirus (COVID-19)

What emergency accommodation is available during coronavirus (COVID-19), how to get a place, and what support you can get.

Emergency accommodation for people who are homeless or sleeping rough

We understand that Bristol's homeless population is particularly vulnerable to coronavirus. We're working hard to make sure that we give accommodation to as many people as possible during this time.

We have emergency accommodation for people who are:

  • homeless, or have no accommodation available to them
  • sleeping rough

We are also trying to find more accommodation for people who need it in Bristol.

You can apply for emergency accommodation now even if you’ve applied before and you weren’t eligible.

You can still get accommodation if you think you may have coronavirus (COVID-19), as long as you don’t need hospital treatment. We have accommodation where you can self-isolate if you need to.

Depending on your needs, you may need to pay a small service charge for the accommodation. This is to cover things like electricity and gas. We’ll tell you the amount you’d have to pay before you move into the accommodation. 

Alcohol and drug use while in emergency accommodation

Accommodation is available for everyone who needs it, including people who use alcohol or drugs.

We don’t have separate accommodation for those who use drugs and alcohol and those who don’t, or who did previously. We’ll take into account any support needs you have, during the initial assessment.

Make a homeless application 

Contact us on 0117 352 6800, 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday, if:

  • you're sleeping rough
  • you're staying with friends or family, and you’re worried you’re about to become homeless
  • you’ve just been told to leave your accommodation

You can also email the Outreach team on

We can’t say in advance what accommodation we’ll be able to offer, but it will be suitable for your immediate needs. The accommodation will be available until the government advises us to change our approach.

Wherever possible, we’ll be looking to move people on to more suitable longer term accommodation. We'll be moving people out of hotels and into more suitable accommodation during August and September. 

The Citizen Service Point at 100 Temple Street is only open for emergencies.

What happens next

After you contact us, we’ll make an appointment for a Housing Advisor to call you back at an agreed time.

The advisor will assess your circumstances over the phone.

Before you get accommodation, the advisor will look at:

  • if there are any other alternative options to emergency accommodation
  • how vulnerable you are to coronavirus
  • what support needs you have
  • whether you’re at risk, for example from domestic violence or abuse

How quickly you’ll get a room depends on:

  • your circumstances
  • what accommodation is available when you apply

If you’re in danger of or fleeing from domestic violence or abuse

When placing you in accommodation, we’ll also take into account:

  • if you’re fleeing domestic abuse and are in need of secure accommodation
  • if you need to be in a space with people that are the same sex/gender as you

What support is available in emergency accommodation

Getting meals

If you’re placed in accommodation such as a hotel, meals will be provided for you. 

There is also a meal handout station in Champions Square, behind Cabot Circus. It runs Monday to Saturday, between 7pm and 9pm.


You should try to arrange for your pet to be looked after by friends, family or an animal charity.

There is very little accommodation available where pets will be allowed.

Medical and mental health support

There is no medical or mental health support available at any accommodation.

You need to follow the coronavirus (COVID-19) advice on the NHS website. Use the 111 coronavirus service if you think you have coronavirus symptoms:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss of or change to your sense of taste or smell