Homeless person sitting with hands on his head.
Homelessness is more than just sleeping on the streets.

What is homelessness?

Homeless is not having a steady, secure place to live. It’s important to have a safe place to stay. Homelessness can include staying on a friend or family member’s couch; living or sleeping in a car; staying at a shelter, a hostel, a Bed & Breakfast, or a refuge; living in an abandoned house or building, staying in an over-crowded house or sleeping outside. When a person becomes homeless, even for a short time, the impact can last a long time.

Homelessness can affect your:

Being homeless can make it more difficult than usual for a person to:

What if my family become homeless?

Some families do not have a steady and secure home in which to live. Perhaps you might feel concerned that your family might not find a home or might lose your home. 

If you do not have a home, you might live somewhere else for a short time – for example, with a friend or a family member, in a hotel or a Bed & Breakfast or at a shelter.

This might mean a change to your usual routine and you may experience many different emotions. You have a right to be safe and you have a right to support. 

Childline is always here to listen to you and support you. If you are at risk, Childline can help you by contacting the Gardaí or a social worker for you. 

Other supports available include:​


Focus Ireland offers services to people in Dublin, Cork, Waterford, Limerick, Sligo and Kilkenny. Call 01 881 5900.


Simon Community work in areas around Ireland providing support to people who are homeless. Call 01 671 1606.​


Crosscare work in Dublin and help those affected by homelessness. Call 01 836 0011.

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