Real Change - information on homelessness services in Cardiff


Since lockdown measures came into force, we have:

  • Set up 182 additional units of accommodation for single homeless people
  • Helped 473 people into our single person accommodation
  • Assisted 50 rough sleepers into accommodation
  • Provided 3 meals a day at the hotels and hostels
  • Referred 71 people into life-changing, drug rehabilitation programmes. Many more people than ever before are engaging with services, with some moving onto treatment within a matter of days of their initial consultation.
  • Continued to provide support and therapeutic services, by phone, video and face to face.
  • Provided welfare benefits and health advice sessions in the accommodation


No one needs to sleep on the streets in Cardiff

  • Before lockdown we had already reduced the number of people sleeping rough. The number of people sleeping rough was 84 in March 2020, compared to 30 in March 2019.


  • Following the lockdown, rough sleeping reduced to 5 entrenched individuals. New cases are constantly being identified and housed, however during the lockdown the number of people sleeping rough has remained very low.


  • The lack of begging opportunities and reduced availability of drugs in the city and has resulted in unprecedented engagement in services and allowed us to make more progress than ever before in helping people to move away from a harmful life on the street.


  • Not everyone begging on the street is homeless, many are already housed but that does not mean that they do not need help.


  • Many of those on the street are very vulnerable individuals with a range of issues including mental health and substance misuse. Many have suffered past trauma and need specialist help to address these issues. That help is available in Cardiff.


  • This is why we are calling for Real Change and encouraging the public not to give their spare change to people sleeping on the street.


  • Instead we ask people to send for help, so that we can provide the specialist support that is really needed.

Overview of Homeless Services in Cardiff

The council and its partners provide a range of accommodation and support services for people who find themselves homeless.

Different pathways known as Gateways, are available for different client groups:

  • Single People and Couples
  • Families
  • Young People
  • Domestic Abuse 

Each Gateway offers a range of specialist accommodation and support.


Accommodation for Single Homeless People and Couples

  • The Single Person Gateway offers more than 600 spaces in hostels and supported housing. In addition there is a range of emergency accommodation.
  • Since the crisis began 182 additional units of supported accommodation have been created, including:
  • 130 rooms in hotels,
  • 20 Isolation Units to allow homeless people to self-isolate
  • 16 additional emergency spaces
  • 16 supported accommodation flats for assisted move on
  • Pets can be accommodated in many of our supported accommodation schemes.
  • The accommodation is located across a range of sites across the city and is able to meet a wide range of needs
  • Some services for homeless people are provided by the Council and others by charities such as the Salvation Army, Wallich, Huggard and the YMCA.

There is enough accommodation in the city and no-one needs to sleep outside

Support for Homeless People

  • Our Homeless Outreach team works 7 days a week both during the day and into the evening to find anyone who is sleeping rough or at risk of sleeping rough and to encourage them into accommodation.


  • Homelessness is much more than a housing matter, many homeless people have underlying issues and so our services seek to provide holistic support to help individuals address the root cause of their homelessness and support them to move away from the streets for good.


  • Our Multi-Disciplinary Outreach team (MDT) provides a range of support services to address the underlying support needs of those sleeping rough and in hostel accommodation. The team includes a mental health nurse and social worker; drug and alcohol workers; access to rapid prescribing services, primary care nurses; a counsellor and therapeutic workers; peer mentors and primary care nurses. The team has enjoyed considerable success supporting vulnerable individuals to rebuild their lives.


  • Individuals who sleep rough often choose not to access our accommodation because of their complex issues, instead some sleep rough for many years. In these circumstances, our Outreach team works directly with them on a daily basis, continuing to encourage them into accommodation.


No Going Back


During the virus great progress has been made in improving the accommodation and services available to single homeless people in the city.  We aim to continue and build on this excellent progress as we look at reshaping services in the city to best meet clients' needs.