Day centres can help you if you are homeless or living on the streets. You’ll find food, warmth and company and help with finding a place to stay.

What is a day centre?

A day centre is a place you can go during the day if you are homeless and on the streets. They are often found in the centre of cities and large towns.

Day centres are warm places where you can get help with basic needs such as food, clothing and washing. Some provide advice on benefits and housing.

Some day centres are specially for young people, older people, homeless women, rough sleepers, people with mental health problems or homeless people from particular groups, such as Eastern Europeans.

Day centres are often run by local charities and churches, with the help of volunteer staff.

How to find a day centre

There are over 500 day centres for homeless people in England.

Housing and benefits advice

Some day centres have housing advice workers who can help you with information and advice. They might be able to refer you to a nightshelter or emergency hostel or to longer term housing.

Some day centres have advisers who provide welfare benefits advice.

Practical help from a day centre

Day centres can provide practical help such as:

  • cheap hot food
  • clean clothes
  • showers and toiletries
  • washing machines and tumble driers.

Some have access to computers. You’ll be able to charge your mobile phone. You can use a day centre as a place to receive post and may be able to store your luggage and valuables there.

If you’ve been on the streets for some time, a day centre can support you with moving into your own accommodation. You can also get support with drug or alcohol problems.

Some day centres provide medical care and access to doctors and dentists.

Activities and training

Many day centres provide activities to try to help with reading and writing skills, and social and employment skills. They may also run activities projects such as gardening.

Use the Homeless UK directory to find a day centre near you.