Information for people experiencing homelessness

Thursday , July , 25 2024
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 Contact Details

  01228 817200

Homeless Prevention, Advice and Information  

From 3 April 2018, the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 came into force. The act puts a legal duty on councils to offer more support to a wider range of people who are homeless or threatened with homelessness - and to intervene earlier. 

So how does the new Act help? What does it mean for the people of Carlisle who are homeless or at risk of homelessness?  

  • provide advice and carry out prevention work, so that where possible, people can be supported to remain in their current home;
  • offer everyone who is homeless or at risk of homelessness access to meaningful help, irrespective of their priority need status, as long as they are eligible for assistance; and,
  • carry out prevention and relief work for anyone threatened with homelessness within 56 days
Helpful guidance explaining these changes can be found in fact sheets produced by the Government and in further detail in the code of guidance which sets out what Local Authorities, like Carlisle, must follow to deliver the required homelessness services. (Please also refer to our information of the HRA and housing rights within the downloadable documents section).

We offer free, impartial advice and information about homelessness and preventing homelessness. We aim to help people to keep their home or help them to find one that meets their needs. We can:

  • Help you to understand the different options that are available in Carlisle.
  • Prevent a homelessness situation from occurring, wherever possible.
  • Explain the processes of homelessness prevention assist in locating alternative accommodation, such as a housing association, local authority or privately rented property.
  • Provide you with specialist information and advice on your available options.
  • Provide online information and advice relating to housing and homelessness and focused on meeting specific needs.
There are lots of things we can do to help you to stay in your current home, including help with financial difficulties, tenancy matters or relationship breakdown. We actively encourage you to contact us at the earliest opportunity if you need it, so that we can help you to remain at home.
If staying in your current home isn't an option, we can also help you look for a new home or other alternatives – again do not wait until you are at crisis point to contact us – the earlier you make contact with us the better!
We offer specialist, confidential services to help if you're experiencing domestic abuse; please contact us for further confidential advice and assistance. This link provides more information on the Domestic Abuse Partnership within Cumbria
If you or someone you know are at risk of losing accommodation today or have nowhere safe to sleep tonight, please contact us at the earliest opportunity so that we can try to help. Staff will assess your situation and give you free, confidential advice with the aim of helping you find somewhere to stay in an emergency.
The duty to refer requires public authorities in England to notify a local housing authority, such as Carlisle City Council, of people they think may be homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. The online contact form should be completed at the earliest opportunity to prevent homelessness. Fully complete the online contact form as this will assist us in dealing with the referral. The government has produced this guidance on the duty to refer.
We respond to every report we receive of rough sleeping, we meet with individuals, carry out assessments and provide support. If you are aware of someone who is rough sleeping, please contact us immediately to report this or via Streetlink
We look at options to connect people to their own area or to support them to find accommodation. There are some categories we cannot assist due to immigration restrictions, in these cases we will try to access services to support them to reconnect them with their country of origin.
Carlisle City Council has a Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) which is in place during periods of severe weather, providing access to shelter and support. The trigger for SWEP is when the night time temperature is predicted to be zero degrees or below for three consecutive nights.
As part of our commitment to No Second Night Out we will assist in finding emergency accommodation. If you have been served with a notice or are going to be homeless after 56 days, you must get in touch with us as a matter of urgency. We might be able to help you keep your home by talking to your landlord, arranging mediation or discussing other housing options with you.
Rough sleeping is often the most visible sign of homelessness. Some people who appear to be sleeping rough may be engaged in street activities such as begging, but in fact have somewhere to stay. You can still alert us as it is always better to get in touch about someone you think may be rough sleeping so that local services can provide support if needed. There is no need to feel pressured to approach people you don’t know to ask them about their situation – this is the job of local services. Likewise, please do not feel pressured into giving to people who are begging, we support giving to local charities who can support individuals to get support. Street giving does not help people long-term, even if the person receiving the money has a real need.
You can contact our services directly using this link If you are unable to complete the online referral link you can email us via [email protected].

You can contact us during normal office hours by calling 01228 817200. Our out of hours contact numbers are 01228 817386 (single women and families) and 01228 817373 (single men).   

Out of hours contact numbers
Service Telephone
Housing and Homelessness advice (during office hours only) 01228 817200
Emergency homelessness advice (out of hours - single women and families) 01228 817386
Emergency homelessness advice (out of hours - single males) 01228 817373
Other useful contacts
Service Telephone
Benefit Advice 01228 817400 
Cumbria Law Centre 01228 515129 
Citizens Advice Bureau (Advice Line)  03444 111444 
Citizens Advice Bureau (Admin Line) 03300 563037 
Shelter, Kendal  0844 5151945 
  0808 8004444 

This A to Z of services list provides links to service pages alphabetically

Homeless Advice Documents