How to help someone who is sofa surfing


A woman lays on a sofa, her face turned away from the camera.
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Being homeless doesn’t always mean someone is living on the streets

When someone has no place of their own they may sleep in another person’s house, on their sofa or floor. We call this sofa surfing. People who find themselves in this situation are entitled to help. 

Sofa Surfing and Covid-19 

Many people may find that they are no longer able to sofa surf due to Covid-19 and lockdown restrictions in place. They may be asked to leave and not know where to turn.

Help from the Council 

If someone is homeless or facing homelessness they can ask the council for help. 

If your someone you know is being kicked out in the next 56 days, the council should class them as being ‘threatened with homelessness’. The council can give help and advice before the person has to move out of the place they are currently sleeping in. 

Due to Covid-19, face to face meetings are not available. You can contact them by phone using the following numbers: 

  • Leeds Housing Options: 0113 222 4412 
  • Bradford Housing Options: 01274 435999 
  • Kirklees Housing Options: 01484 414933 

Fleeing Domestic Abuse 

If you or someone you know is a woman fleeing domestic violence you can contact the 24-hour National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247. 

Respect is a helpline for male victims of domestic abuse. You can contact them on 0808 8010327. 

Help from Social Services 

If you know someone who is under 18 and has been kicked out, please contact children’s services at your local council as soon as you can. 

You can also get confidential support from Childline on 0800 1111 and at

Shelter’s Helpline 

Anyone can also get advice from Shelter's helpline – call 0808 800 4444 (8am to 8pm Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm at weekends). They can provide housing advice and local options available. 

Emergency Help 

If someone finds themselves homeless and it is out of office hours, they can contact the out of hours emergency housing teams: 

  • Leeds: 07891273939 
  • Bradford: 01274 381999 
  • Kirklees: 01484 414933 

If you know someone is sleeping rough, please get in touch with us. 

Can you sleep on your sofa for one night, so others aren’t forced to? 

When coronavirus hit, many people who were homeless and sleeping on the sofas of friends, family or acquaintances found this option taken away from them.

Simon on the Streets has seen an increase in calls for help since the pandemic began - from people that have lost their jobs or accommodation and have nowhere to turn now they can no longer sofa-surf.

That's why we are asking you to help us by raising money and spreading awareness by surfing on your sofa for one night. Join us on 27th November for Simon’s Big Sofa Surf. 

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