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

If you're with friends and family, and displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) or have had a positive test you should follow the government's advice and remain self isolating with that household wherever possible.

We understand that Bristol's homeless population is particularly vulnerable to coronavirus.

We'll try to offer emergency accommodation for people who are:

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

Most of our emergency accommodation will be in shared housing where you will be sharing facilities with other people.

If you think you may have coronavirus (COVID-19) or have had a positive test and do not need hospital treatment, we have a limited amount of accommodation where you can self isolate. You will then be moved into shared accommodation.

You will have to pay a service charge for the accommodation to cover things like electricity and gas. We’ll tell you the amount you’d have to pay before you move into the accommodation.

Depending on how much you earn you may also have to pay a contribution towards your emergency accommodation as well as the service charge. If you're concerned about how to manage your money and income, we can help you with advice and support based on your own circumstances.

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 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, or where it will be, but it will be suitable for your immediate needs.

Wherever possible, we’ll be looking to move people on to more suitable longer term accommodation.

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
  • the risk that you may present to others

How quickly you’ll get a room depends on:

  • your circumstances
  • your accommodation requirements, for example, accommodation with adaptations or wheelchair accessible accommodation
  • 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
  • whether a safe house or refuge might be better suited to your support needs

What support is available in emergency accommodation


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