You can be legally homeless if the place you live is unsafe, unsuitable, or you have no legal right to be there.
Before you leave home, you should find out about your housing rights and whether the council can help you find accommodation.
For information on your housing rights at different ages see Housing advice for young people.
Leaving foster or local authority care
If you're moving from foster or local authority care, the financial help and support you can get depends on a number of factors, including:
- your age
- how long you have been in care
- how old you were when you went into care.
For more information, see the Gov.UK website.
Important information you should take with you
Try to remember to take important documents like your birth certificate, driving licence and passport with you. You might need identification - do not put your safety at risk to get them though.
If you can take money, medication, clothing, toiletries and belongings that are important to you, then do so. If it is not safe to take any or all of these things then leave them and try to get emergency supplies.
Sleeping on the streets is very dangerous. Always try to get advice and assistance as soon as possible - preferably before you have nowhere to live.
If you do find yourself having to sleep rough:
- wear layers if possible - layers of clothing, blankets, paper etc will help to keep you warm when you are sleeping outside.
- try to stay in well-lit areas
- use charities and services that offer services to rough sleepers, including help to get you back on your feet and put you in touch with the people who can find you accommodation.
If you're a victim of domestic abuse and you're worried about reporting it to the police, you can call ChildLine on 0800 1111, 24 hours a day. They'll let you know exactly what will happen if you tell someone about your situation and help you work out what to do next.
Note: Calls to ChildLine are free and they'll never appear on your phone bill.
National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC)
The NSPCC runs a helpline for people who are worried about cases of possible child abuse, reporting your concerns to the police or your local children's services team.
You can call them on 0808 800 5000, 24 hours a day.