Are you sofa surfing with a friend in Cambridge?
Try and get information and advice as soon as possible as sometimes finding housing can be a lengthy process and you might run out of places to sleep.
Finding housing can be frustrating and confusing, but you can get support from Centre 33 to understand your options.
If you are under 18 and homeless or at risk of homelessness
If you are 16 or 17 years old and become homeless you are probably entitled to help from social services.
Centre 33, or the Youth Support Service – formerly called Connexions, can refer you to social services, who would carry out an assessment and support you according to your housing needs. We would always discuss a referral to social services with you first and continue to offer support through the whole process and help you to get your point of view across.
Social Services may be able to help you to stay at home or to arrange for you to live elsewhere.
If your home doesn’t feel like a safe place for you to go it’s particularly important that you ask for support.
Social services may also be able to give you financial assistance and help you with training or education.
If you are between 18 and 25 and homeless or at risk of homelessness
Centre 33 can talk with you about your options. We are able to refer you to supported living projects (such as the YMCA), if this is what you want to do.
If you are not working and if you are receiving Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) you will be able to claim Housing Benefit, which covers most of the costs, but you will have to pay a contribution towards the rent from your JSA too.
If you are working you might be able to get some help towards your rent depending on your income.
If you don’t know where to sleep the coming night you might be able to stay at Jimmy’s night shelter if you are in Cambridge. You need to register before 11am on the day you don’t know where to stay for the night. Depending on their bed space availability they might be able to offer you a space that night or you might have to wait for a few nights.
For further information see: jimmyscambridge.net/
If you are sleeping rough the Street Outreach Team can support you and might be able to refer you into supported housing. Please contact us for further information.
In some cases Cambridge City Council is able to support you with housing, but only if you are in priority need and if you have a local connection. You have a local connection if you lived in Cambridge for 6 out of 12 months or 3 out of the last 5 years.
For further information see www.cambridge.gov.uk/housing
If you are currently without job and looking for work you are able to claim Job Seekers Allowance.
For further info see: www.gov.uk/jobseekers-allowance/overview
On www.gov.uk/benefits-adviser you can find out what benefits you might be entitled to.
If you are between 18 and 25 and you are thinking of renting privately
There are a lot of things to plan, if you are planning to move out from home and rent a place privately.
Centre 33 is able to help you prepare for this step.
In general we would recommend you check that you can afford to move out. Youthoria helps you to have an overview of potential living costs.
The government provides information on additional benefits like housing benefits (if you are on a low income), and your housing options in general. Shelter (the National housing and homeless charity) provides information on housing options.
Support with food
Centre33 is working together with the foodbank and we are able to provide you with a foodbank voucher if you are currently in a financial crisis and don’t have enough money to buy food. This voucher will offer you access to food a minimum of 3 days at your nearest foodbank centre.
See more information on foodbank: Cambridge City Foodbank
Wintercomfort is providing Breakfast & Refreshments, Shower facilities, Access to Laundry & Clothing store, Support with Housing & Access to Health Care Services.
More about what Wintercomfort provides here.