The word homeless on a piece of paper being cut in half

Help for the Homeless

At East Dunbartonshire Citizens Advice Bureau in west-central Scotland, we are here to help. If you live or work in the East Dunbartonshire area, we can give you advice on what help is available for homeless people. As well as personalised advice on paying your winter bills, money, debt, budgeting, financial issues and more. Please contact us herechat online or call us on 0141 775 3220. If you reside outside of East Dunbartonshire, please contact your own local Citizens Advice Bureau for assistance. Find them here.

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EDCAB offers help for the homeless

Help for the homeless

Sometimes we find ourselves in positions that we have not planned for. And it can be really overwhelming. If you have found yourself with nowhere to stay for the night, there are options out there to help you.

It is important to note that if you’re rough sleeping and you’re not a British citizen this may affect your right to stay in the UK. When looking for help, talk to us at Citizens Advice about your immigration status.

Where to find help if you find yourself homeless

There are lots of options depending on your circumstances. Nobody should ever feel like there’s no help out there when facing being homeless. If you don’t think any of the options below will work for you, contact your local council or us today to seek advice and support.

For under 18s…

Those aged 16 and 17 who are made homeless are likely to be able to receive support and assistance from social services. In fact, the social services are likely to be able to help you much more than your local council.

With that in mind, if you do apply to your local council for help, you can ask them to do something called a ‘joint assessment’ which means that social services will also look at your application, allowing you to get help from whoever can offer the most support.

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We can point you in the right direction for help

For those who are ill, disabled or have mental health issues…

Social services may be able to help you if you’ve found yourself rough sleeping and have any of the above issues. If you’re over 18 you will need to ask for help from your local authority first, but they will likely get social services involved to look into your situation and work out your needs in what’s called a ‘needs assessment’.

To prepare for a needs assessment you will need to give evidence of your situation. This may involve getting information from your doctors, and it will likely involve either a form, a telephone interview or a face-to-face meeting.

Talking to your local council

The first port of call if you are sleeping rough should be your local council when possible, or you can speak to Citizens Advice first for advice. Once you’ve spoken to your local council, they might be able to offer you emergency housing. Alternatively, they can offer you the details for hostels, night shelters, refuges and bed and breakfasts.

You can use the contact form on their website. Or, if you find yourself homeless out of office hours, contact one of the following:

  • Homelessness on call service on 0300 1234510
  • Social Work on call service on 0800 811 505
  • Police Scotland on 101

For those who are on a low income or benefits, you may be able to get help with rent costs, too.

East Dunbartonshire Council have pledged to provide a service for homeless people all day every day. They will aim to provide help, advice and interim accommodation. You can bring a friend or advocate to all of your meetings with them, and you can request a same-sex Homelessness Officer if you feel safer that way. For more information about their process, look here.

To get immediate advice, contact the free housing advice helpline on 0808 800 4444.

The word homeless on a piece of paper being cut in half
East Dunbartonshire Council have pledged to provide a service for homeless people

Hostels and night shelters

There are hostels and night shelters all over the country that are designed to offer emergency shelter to people who need it. You often need to be referred to these, which we can do for you at EDCAB. Contact us as soon as you realise you need help and we’ll do what we can to find you somewhere to stay. Some places will let you call or walk in. To be sure, though, it’s usually best to call in advance to find out.

If you aren’t sure if there are any shelters near you, search for somewhere to stay on the Homeless Link site.


In Kirkintilloch, Ravenswood is a support service for those at risk of or with experience of homelessness. The team aim to provide a safe, supportive place for people to plan the rest of their lives. There is accommodation, and support for mental health, substance abuse, and even learning disabilities. The Ravenswood team focus on individualised, outcome-based support to help get you back on your feet.

You have to be referred to Ravenswood through East Dunbartonshire council’s homeless team.


Lots of people are forced from their homes due to violence, threats or abuse. Anyone who finds themselves in such a situation should try to find a place in a refuge. They’ll be able to keep you safe, as they don’t advertise their addresses and have specialists on hand to provide advice and support.

To arrange to get a place in a refuge, get in touch with Refuge or Women’s Aid. You can call them on 0808 2000 247. Or, if you’re concerned about contacting them directly, you can be referred either by the local council or by EDCAB.

If you can’t find a place or somewhere safe to stay, contact East Dunbartonshire council, they should find you somewhere to stay.

Young woman giving hug to her cute little son with brown soft teddybear while both sitting in a refuge
There are safe places for you to go

Other help and preventing homelessness

Our experts can help with preventing homelessness. And we can give help if you think you may be facing homelessness. If you are struggling with money, mental health, employment or are just overwhelmed, give us a call.

We can also help with other homeless support. Whether it’s looking for somewhere to find a hot meal, a shower, or just advice on what steps you should take. Either book an appointment to speak to an adviser or discuss your situation with us on the phone. We are here to help you.

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