Best places to sleep when homeless

If you’re homeless, it can be hard to find a place to sleep.

If you’re lucky enough to have a friend or family member who will let you stay with them, that’s great! But what if they’re not around? What if they’re at work all day, or out of town?

In this article, we’ll discuss some of the best places to sleep when homeless, where to sleep when homeless in winter, where is it legal to sleep outside, places to sleep when homeless near me, homeless need a place to sleep tonight, best places to go when homeless, and homeless where to sleep in car.

homeless where to sleep in car

If you’ve suddenly become homeless and are thinking of sleeping in your car or RV, here are some personal recommendations that may help you keep out of trouble and find safe spots to park your vehicle at night.

24-Hour Businesses
Some 24-hour businesses actually don’t mind if people quietly sleep in their cars or RV’s in their parking lot, but it’s expected that you buy something in their store in order to do so and that you don’t stay longer than one night. Walmart is probably the most well-known example of this, as they seem to openly allow RV’s and cargo vans to camp out in their parking lot at night.

However, this only applies to about 80% of Walmarts and it really depends on who the general manager is and what their policies are. There are some Walmarts that do prohibit people from spending the night on their property, even if you purchase something first. So it’s best to do some research online first on the Walmart you’re considering or try to notice if others are sleeping in the parking lot when you arrive.

When in doubt, don’t do it, as it’s not worth it if the end result is you being woken up by police with flashlights tapping on your driver’s side window and asking you to step out of your vehicle. Some 24-hour Starbucks will also either allow you to sleep in the parking lot at night or will at least not bother you if they see you doing so after purchasing a cup of coffee.

Rural Neighborhoods
It’s probably best to avoid big city streets and main roads where you’ll find metered parking (where you have to insert a quarter or any other amount in a parking meter in order to park there) and avoid other places where parking is highly sought-after. When you park in places where parking is already scarce or where people are literally fighting over parking spots, you’re only going to attract negative attention if you do manage to find a decent available spot.
Sleeping in small rural neighborhoods or places where people park their cars on the street outside their homes can be either a great idea or a horrible one.

The laws regarding this are a bit grey depending on what city you’re in, but in general it’s probably a bad idea unless you can find an empty side of the street with no houses. You don’t want to park your car directly outside someone’s house or across the street from someone’s house because they may notice you and call the police out of suspicion that you’re doing something wrong or that the car has been abandoned. Also, they may use that spot for parking additional cars, in addition to those in their driveway, so you don’t want to make anybody mad either. If you must park in a rural area where people live in homes, your best bet is to look for vacant lots on the street, wooded areas, or otherwise woodsy areas with few homes.

However, this may also be a bad idea as you may actually bring more attention to yourself. At one point when I was homeless, my friend and I parked his car at the end of a rural street in Santa Cruz where there was only sidewalk and woods next to us and no houses. This wasn’t disturbing anybody and because it was at the end of a small street with houses further down the street, it was out of the way from those who lived there but looked as if we had reason to be there for anybody passing by us on the main street.

BLM Land and State Parks
In the United States, there’s an agency known as the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) which is managed by the U.S. Department of the Interior. What they basically do is they manage all the public areas of land across the country and regulate how these areas of land are used. Anybody legally living in the United States has a right to use public land in the ways that the BLM designates they can be used for. Yes, this would include camping and sleeping in your car as well. There are maps available on the BLM website that show all the areas around the country that are public land where you can camp for free. While this may be an option for some people, it may not be a suitable option for most homeless people.

I say this for two reasons. The first, is that BLM land is usually out in the middle of nowhere in most states and far from civilization or any big cities. So while it may be possible for you to drive out there each night to sleep and then drive into the city for any resources you may need or jobs you need to work, this may eat up a lot of gas money or put wear and tear on your vehicle when you need it most. Secondly, there are rules for how long you can camp out for free on BLM land and it’s usually around 14-days maximum within any 30 day time-frame.

While you don’t need any permission to camp in most BLM areas, they do require that you apply for a permit for some areas depending on which state or area you’re in. If you’re thinking that you’ll just alternate between BLM areas every 14 days or so, that’s an option. Just keep in mind that sleeping in an RV in these areas is a better option than a car as you will attract less attention and scrutiny on yourself, which is always good even when you’re doing nothing wrong.

Also, if BLM areas are too far from where you’re at, consider possibly paying for a camp spot at a local campground instead if you have the money. BLM is just more advantageous because it’s normally free and in some areas of the country, camping in state parks can actually cost more than getting a hotel room for the night.

City-Designated Parking Lots
The first thing you should do is look online to see if your city, or any adjacent communities, have dedicated parking areas for homeless people to park in at night. These lots are frequently designated by the city or private charity working with the city, and are frequently referred to as “safe parking programs.” During the day, the parking lots are typically used for business or other reasons, but at night, they are designated as secure locations where persons sleeping in cars can go to have a decent night’s sleep without fear of being harassed by the police or being carjacked by criminals.

San Diego was one of the first cities in the United States to start offering an official safe parking program and many other cities are now either offering them or are in the process of getting ready to offer them. Most of the cities in the United States are in California, such as Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, and San Jose, but other cities in different states are taking notice and there could be one near you if you’re located in the USA. It’s always a good idea to search the internet or inquire with local charities if they’ve heard of any such programs in your area or in the closest big city to you.

Outside of the United States, there are very few countries on record that have offered safe parking programs. Places like England and France have large homeless populations, but still have not officially offered any similar programs to the homeless communities living there. For those outside the USA, it’s best to consult with local charities on where you can park your vehicles at night without worry.

Church Lots
Many churches offer safe parking programs themselves and can offer other resources and help as well. So if your city doesn’t currently have any type of assistance when it comes to hassle-free parking lots, you may want to speak to your local churches and see if they can offer anything.

I myself am not a religious person, but when I was homeless on the streets, one of the people I hung around each day was a man who recently was released from prison and had converted to Mormonism. He told me that he had converted to the Mormon religion because their churches were known for helping out their followers, and as it turned out, he was correct. When I first met him, he was sleeping in a tent next to where I was sleeping in mine outside a local homeless shelter. He wanted a safer environment so he went to a local Mormon church, told them how he had converted to Mormonism and showed them what he had learned about his newly-found religion by reading The Book of Mormon. Within a few days after that, he had left our parking lot and told me he was given permission by the Mormon church to camp out alone behind their church on their property and that they were also helping him with some cash assistance.

So it goes without saying that you should probably speak to your local religious groups in the area and see which ones can assist you, regardless of what your actual religion is. Just keep in mind that sometimes they may offer help in an effort to “convert” you to their religion if you aren’t already a member, so only seek assistance from religions other than your own if you’re open-minded to that or respectful of that. Whether it’s Mormonism, Christianity, Judaism, or even Buddhism, if someone is willing to offer you a helping hand when you desperately need it, it’s worth hearing what they have to say as long as they’re looking out for your best interests as well.

Outside Homeless Shelters
In my experience, most homeless shelters will allow people to sleep in their cars outside the shelters as long as they don’t become a nuisance or bring negative attention to the shelter itself. This doesn’t mean that they won’t encourage you to stay at the shelter though. In general, the managers at most homeless shelters want to get the beds there filled with people because majority of these places are not free and do need funding to continue operating. Some of this funding does come from people paying to stay there per night or per week, even if the first week or first month is normally free.

When sleeping outside shelters, you should be very careful to make sure you always lock your doors and to make sure your windows are rolled up high enough to where somebody can’t try to get inside while you’re sleeping with a clothes hanger or anything else to unlock the door. These are safety precautions you should take, no matter where you are, but this is especially true outside shelters for obvious reasons.

You may want to inquire with the shelter manager if camping is allowed outside, or just take notice of how RV’s are parked outside. Normally there will be many RV’s and cargo vans in any area where people have been camping for awhile. Now just because the shelter is OK with it, that doesn’t mean that the city is. So keep this in mind as well, as I have seen shelters actually fight with cities over this and I have also witnessed the police purposely targeting people sleeping outside shelters in order to search their vehicles for illegal substances and weapons.

Rest Stops
Rest stops should probably be your last resort if you can’t find any other places to park. I don’t say this because of laws or restrictions, but because of safety hazards. Rest stops are notorious for being dangerous places due to so many travelers coming and going to and from these places. They aren’t the safest place to spend the night, because criminals could attempt to rob or attack you and jump back on the highway and be long gone by the time you realize what happened.

Now if you do choose to camp out overnight at a rest stop, you should know which states are friendly towards this and which aren’t. In general, just know that truckers sleep at rest stops in all 50 states all the time, and most of the time nobody will bother you at any of them as long as you are quiet and keep to yourself and aren’t very obvious about it. But if you want to make sure you’re following the rules, the states most-known for being friendly towards campers spending the night in their cars or RV’s at highway rest stops are California, Idaho, Minnesota, Ohio, Washington, and last but certainly not least, Oregon.

Oregon actually encourages people to sleep at rest stops because they know the dangers involved with sleepy travelers driving on major highways when tired. Just know that most of these states along with all the others have rules on how long you can stay at rest stops. Some of them state you can only stay overnight for 6 hours while others are anywhere between 8 to 16 hours, depending on the state and which highway or road you’re on. So if in doubt, do some research online about whatever state you’re thinking about doing this in and make sure you’re familiar with the rules first if you’re worried about that.

Best places to sleep when homeless

This is a list of the best places to sleep when you’re homeless.

Whether you’re planning on staying out all night or just need a place to crash for the night, it’s important to stay safe and warm. While you may be tempted to curl up under a tree or in an alleyway, these options will not only be uncomfortable but also dangerous. Here are some great places to sleep when homeless:

-Underneath a bridge. Bridges provide excellent shelter from both rain and wind, and they are usually located near water sources—which means they can double as places to bathe!

-Inside of a dumpster. Dumpsters are insulated from the elements and provide ample insulation from the ground (and any rats or bugs). They also come with an added bonus: garbage! You can use this garbage for warmth or as protection against animals who might want to eat you while you sleep.

-In a church pew. Churches are usually open late at night, so if you’re looking for somewhere warm and safe to rest your head during the day, this is a great option! Be careful not to disturb other members of the congregation; most churches frown upon sleeping in them during regular hours of operation!

1) Cars

Living out of a vehicle sounds like a suitable option if you are homeless. It offers privacy and decent shelter. However, it does not offer enough security for someone to fall asleep soundly at night. This is especially true if the place where you choose to spend the night is known for its volatile situations and high crime rates. It is also uncomfortable for someone who cannot sleep well in cramped spaces.

If you decide to live out of your car, make sure that you have an alarm system installed so that thieves will not be able to break into your vehicle without setting off an alarm. You can also consider installing a surveillance camera that records all activity around your vehicle so that you can identify potential threats before they become real problems!

In addition, when choosing where to park overnight, make sure that there are no security cameras nearby that could catch you on film while sleeping or doing anything else in public. Also, choose a location away from any busy roadways so that cars don’t hit you by mistake!

The worst part is that you are always on the move. Every day, you must try to avoid exposing yourself to authorities. You could get punished in some manner for illegal parking or even sleeping in your car, depending on your state’s legislation. Sleeping in your car is a very uncertain way of life, which makes it difficult for you to ever be at ease.

2) Motels

The motels are popular among homeless families for a variety of reasons. First, they provide a decent amount of space for the family to live in, which can be hard to find on the streets. Second, they are safer than the streets and provide an escape from the dangers and dangers of living outdoors. Third, they can be fairly affordable.

However, these benefits come with some drawbacks as well. Motels are not always well maintained and often have leaky roofs or tight spaces that make it difficult to move around freely. They also lack hygienic kitchens where cooking is necessary for healthy meals. Finally, when the money runs out in these motels, the families are forced back onto the streets until they find another temporary home.

3) Storage Units

Some people refer to storage units as modern-day cardboard boxes. This comparison could have something to do with the accessibility and convenience of such units. While they are far from the ideal accommodation, they are decent options for temporary living. They are secure, dry, and less dangerous than being out on the streets. Many homeless people even keep their possessions in these storage units.

4) Parks

A weary, homeless man sleeping on a park bench is yet another common sight. Parks are tempting for homeless people because they are public spaces, thus they do not have to worry about trespassing boundaries. The lush grass and the wooden benches provide a decent space to stretch out or sleep on. However, a peaceful night’s sleep is not a guarantee. Sometimes, the local police could ask you to move over to a different spot.

5)  Streets

The street does not sound like an ideal place to spend the night in. It is too open, too noisy, and too uncomfortable for anyone to be tempted to choose it. In the most cases, however, a homeless person has no other choice but to sleep on the streets. This is especially true if that person is also struggling with addictions and social phobias that make him prefer the idea of living by himself on a street.

6) Tent Cities

Encampments for homeless people have sprung up all over the US and other parts of the world. These are regions where a group of people set up camps together, typically on the outskirts of the city. The issue here is that these encampments are controversial. Cities are actually trying to break them up, which could spell homelessness for all the residents. However, social programs like Navigation Center in San Francisco are trying to improve lives for these people. The Navigation Center does this by trying to move whole encampments into a temporary space. People are settled here within 45 days.

7)  Abandoned Buildings

Abandoned buildings are very common in cities. They provide a convenient place to sleep in, or even live in temporarily. While they are not as safe as homeless shelters, they are peaceful and ideal for people who are not interested in socializing with anyone.

8)  Couches

Homelessness can strike us in many ways. It can be a brief episode, or it can be lengthier. In such a critical situation, our first instinct is to turn to friends and family members. If we are lucky, some of them will to offer us their couch to sleep in. This has given rise to the phenomenon of “couch surfing”, whereby homeless people spend every night at a friend or relative’s home. While a couch is a comfortable place to sleep in, many people also opt for garages and sheds.

People who sleep on couches are generally referred to as the hidden homeless, because they do not access homeless support services. As a result, they are not part of any official homelessness statistics. Their homelessness is undocumented.

The time someone can spend at their friend’s house depends on how long the friend will extend their hospitality.

9)  Foreclosed Houses

In many countries, thousands of foreclosed homes are either empty or boarded up. For the homeless person, such places provide decent space, shelter, and security. Thus, it is no surprise that so many homeless people choose to spend their nights in vacant buildings like these.

Much like abandoned buildings, foreclosed homes are ideal for anyone looking forward to a quiet night’s sleep and as little social interaction as possible.

10) Homeless Shelters

Rounding up this list are homeless shelters, the places that appear to be the most sensible options for homeless people. However, you would be surprised to learn that not everyone wants to spend the night in these shelters. In places like San Francisco, shelters are running at full capacity. This makes for very crowded and uncomfortable places. Another concern is the potential exposure to drugs and other vices, considering the diverse range of personalities you can find there.

For many people, shelters are out of the question because they just do not suit them. They can feel restrictive, with their strict rules against things you prefer. For instance, some shelters do not allow people to bring certain possessions or pet animals.

where to sleep when homeless in winter

In the cold winter months, it can be very difficult to stay warm living on the street. Choosing your clothing and shelter carefully can help. If you don’t (or can’t) choose to go to a shelter at night, looking for an appropriate place to sleep can also be the difference between staying warm and freezing.

Here are some tips for staying warm during the winter:

•Wear layers of clothing – The more layers you have between your skin and the outside air, the warmer you will be. If possible, wear an extra layer of thick clothing over your clothes or sleeping bag to protect yourself from wind chill.

•Protect yourself from wind – If possible, find a space that’s protected from wind. This can mean finding a building with walls or even just a tree that blocks some of the wind. You could also use garbage bags or other materials as insulation around yourself if you don’t have any extra clothes on hand!

•Try sleeping in public buildings – Many public buildings are open 24 hours a day during winter months and provide heat during those times too! You may be able to find some blankets or other resources at these locations too which would make it easier for you in case anything happens while sleeping outside overnight.

Use insulation techniques. You can insulate yourself with multiple layers, but if you’re still cold, try newspaper. By crumpling it up and stuffing it between layers of clothing you can create insulating pockets of air that will help keep you warm. You could also try foam pieces or blankets between your clothing, both of which are much warmer than newspaper. Plastic bags also work well. If you have nothing else, dry leaves will even work.

  • Don’t use fiberglass insulation (often pink fibers between layers of paper, used in houses). The tiny glass fibers will cut your skin and could cause infection.

Don’t forget your feet. Wear multiple socks on cold nights. Before it gets cold, work on finding boots that cover your whole foot, ankle, and part of your leg. Keeping your feet and lower legs protected from cold wind is essential to staying warm. If you are really cold, you might need to create layers of insulation on your feet, perhaps even including plastic bags. Make sure you go to bed with dry socks on.

Stockpile blankets and sleeping bags. Keep an eye out for blankets and sleeping bags during summer and fall that might have been discarded in trash cans, before you really need them. These will be essential when you are sleeping outside, but can also keep you warm in a car or in a more protected shelter. Wrap yourself with blankets and then get into the sleeping bag for maximum warmth.

Look for a tent if you know you are staying outside. Sometimes people throw tents away with only minor holes or rips — look at campsites or other places where people have put up tents. Some people don’t want to sleep indoors even when it’s freezing. To make sure you have some kind of shelter outside, think about trying to find a tent for yourself. If you can’t find one, stringing up blankets from trees can help create a makeshift shelter.

Find a metallic survival blanket. These are often handed out at the end of a marathon or other long run and then are quickly discarded. Collect a few of these (they are very light and easy to fold up) for winter nights. Cover the torso area at least of your sleeping bag with the survival blankets

Collect plastic bags. You will need to keep your clothing and bedding dry and protected from the elements. Plastic bags of all sizes will help you keep your possessions in good shape, no matter the weather. You can even use them as a liner to help keep your feet warmer (and prevent your boots from getting damp with sweat). Try to find a big one to use as a poncho so your outer layer doesn’t get wet in rain or snow.

Look for a mat that will protect you from the cold ground. Foam pieces are going to be the best. Air mattresses or pads will easily transmit the cold to your body.

Eat right before bed. Try to get hot food right before you go to sleep. The meal can help you warm up and keep you warm enough to get into bed while your body still has heat. Keep in mind that fattier foods are going to be better for keeping you warm. Try these kinds of foods:[5]

  • Cheese
  • Canned beans
  • Cream of Mushroom or Cream of Chicken Soup

Go to bed when you’re warm. If it’s cold outside and you are cold going to bed, you’re not going to be able to warm yourself up. Do what it takes to get warm before you get under your blankets or into the sleeping bag. Run around, windmill your arms, do jumping jacks — any of these could get your body warm enough.

Don’t let your sleeping materials get damp. Wet blankets and sleeping bags in the cold are not going to dry. If you have a sleeping bag, try not to even breathe into it — it can get it damp quite easily. Package your sleeping materials in plastic bags during the day so that they won’t get wet. Also avoid setting up camp close to water — it will blow around and get your sleeping materials wet.

best places to go when homeless

If you’re homeless and in need of a place to stay, here are some great options for you!

  1. Your local library: Libraries are often open 24 hours a day, so even if it’s late at night or early in the morning, you can go there and use the computers and internet. Plus, they have books! And sometimes there are events going on. If you’re lucky, they’ll even offer you a warm beverage.
  2. Your local homeless shelter: No one will judge you for being homeless in one of these places—they exist for that very reason! They usually have beds, showers/bathrooms/toilets, and food available as well as other resources like clothing, blankets/sleeping bags, etc. Be sure to sign up with them before asking questions so they know who they’re helping out later on down the road when they need more resources themselves (usually during winter months).
  3. Outside by yourself: There’s always safety in numbers when it comes down to it—but if no one else is around or nearby enough for comfortability purposes then just try sitting outside somewhere where no one can see what happens next (like inside your car parked somewhere.

Here are the best cities for homeless people in the US:

1. Houston, Texas

Houston, we have a problem.

The city has an issue with homelessness, and it’s getting worse. The homeless population has been growing steadily over the past few years, and it doesn’t seem like it’s going to slow down anytime soon.

Houston has seen an increase in its homeless population from 1,803 people in 2009 to 2,265 people in 2015 (that’s a 26% increase). That’s not even the worst part: these numbers only take into account those who are actually staying in shelters and counting on help from organizations like The Salvation Army or Food Not Bombs—there are still thousands more who are living out on the streets without any assistance whatsoever.

The problem is that Houston doesn’t have enough resources available to provide support for all of these people. For example, there are only four shelters open 24 hours per day and one transitional housing facility with 100 beds available for families looking for help—and both of those facilities are located downtown where most of the services are located anyway! You can see how this could lead to some pretty serious issues if something doesn’t change soon…

What makes the program so successful is that it addresses the problem at the roots. Everything else seems to follow when someone has a permanent place of their own. It gives them a solid ground to get back on their feet. They can start looking for a job and dream of a better future. All of which is virtually impossible when you are living on the street.

2. Austin, Texas

Following in Houston’s footsteps, Austin also made a considerable dent in its homeless population.

In 2018, the City Council made ending homelessness their top priority. The action led to more resources being allocated to address homelessness as a whole. This includes meeting their immediate needs, housing programs, and preventing more people from becoming homeless.

The city has also put in place an ordinance that allows camping in public places. They hope that the increased visibility of homeless people would also raise awareness about their plight.

3. Salt Lake City, Utah

In 2015, Salt Lake City officials announced that they have virtually eliminated homelessness in the city. Of course, that’s quite a stretch especially now that the city is again experiencing a spike in homelessness. But it cannot be denied that the city has done something right when it comes to ending homelessness.

Ten years ago, the city started a homeless initiative that prioritizes housing for the homeless. Instead of the typical run-of-the-mill housing in a shady part of town, they built spaces that homeless people would actually want to live in. They’re standard quality, aesthetically pleasing, and most importantly affordable for people on housing programs.

4. Berkeley, California

Four years ago, Berkeley was in the throes of a homeless crisis. A survey in January 2017 concluded that about 1% of the city’s population is homeless. Though the numbers haven’t improved drastically over the past few years, living in the city has some advantages when you’re homeless.

For one, the city has mild weather for most of the year. This makes it more conducive to living outdoors. Berkeley is also home to a number of non-profit organizations that serve the homeless.

Recently, the city has also implemented the Coordinated Entry System (CES). It’s a program that aims to:

  • streamline the homeless assessment process and services
  • prioritize disabled and chronically homeless people
  • create a central coordination system for referrals

Part of the program is a hotline that homeless people can call for emergency shelter, transitional housing, and other homeless services.

5. San Diego, California

Like Berkeley, San Diego has a moderate climate suitable for living outdoors. Though the city still has one of the largest homeless population in the country, it’s actively taking steps to curb the problem.

Aside from providing homeless services, the city also built tents and temporary shelters. It also has various non-profit organizations that provide food, shelter, and other necessary services to the homeless.

The city’s housing first policy has also moved thousands of homeless people from temporary shelters to permanent housing.

6. New Orleans, Louisiana

After hurricane Katrina, the number of homeless people in New Orleans has skyrocketed. In 2007, the city has about 12,000 homeless people or about 10,000 more from before Katrina. But in 2018, the city has managed to bring it down to less than 1,200.

Like most cities in this list, New Orlean’s success is largely due to its housing first policy. The city used federal funds to create permanent housing for homeless people without requiring them to get over their addiction. They have also put up a hundred low-barrier shelters where people can stay without having to sober up.

Though homelessness remains a major issue in the country, the progress made by these cities gives us hope. And we can only wish that other cities can learn a thing or two from them.

Where should I sleep if I have nowhere to sleep

Everyone needs a safe place to sleep, but getting a good night’s sleep can be tough when you’re afraid about robbery, violence, or the elements. When it comes to the cold, this is especially true. Nighttime temperatures in most regions of the country are 20 degrees lower than they are during the day, but certain areas suffer a drop of up to 50 degrees. Because of how exposed they are at night, the homeless subpopulation is particularly vulnerable. As a result, deaths from hypothermia were thirteen times higher than those who had adequate nighttime shelter.

While the trend is slowly improving, over half a million Americans are homeless. Homelessness was first viewed as a national issue in the United States in the 1870s.3 Since then, many non-profit and government programs have been created to help give more people access to a safe place to sleep. The Department of Housing and Urban Development estimates that the number of shelters throughout the country is going to continue to grow.

Homeless Shelter Directory by State and Region

In the United States, most shelters expect occupants to leave in the morning. After that, they can return in the evening for a meal and a good night’s sleep. When looking at shelters, keep in mind the curfew hours. Many cities also have day-only shelters for persons who may not be able to stay at their regular shelter.

In addition to the shelters below, there are many programs in place that could help. Be sure to go to your local library to find resources, guides and other programs that they may offer to assist you. Many libraries offer temporary library cards. There are also many government assistance programs offered. Some of the primary programs include Social Security Supplemental Income and Social Security Disability Insurance.

Connecticut – Maine – Massachusetts – New Hampshire – New Jersey – New York – Pennsylvania – Rhode Island – Vermont

Illinois – Indiana – Iowa – Kansas – Michigan – Minnesota – Missouri – Nebraska – North Dakota – Ohio – South Dakota – Wisconsin

Alabama – Arkansas – Delaware – District of Columbia – Florida – Georgia – Kentucky – Louisiana –  Maryland – Mississippi – North Carolina – Oklahoma – South Carolina – Tennessee – Texas – Virginia – West Virginia

 Alaska – Arizona – California – Colorado – Hawaii – Idaho – Montana – Nevada – New Mexico – Oregon – Utah – Washington – Wyoming

National Organizations

Family Promise

Family promise is a great national organization located at Their mission is to help homeless and low-income families achieve sustainable independence through a community-based response. If every volunteer of a family promise location was an employee, they would be the 31st largest employer in the United States. They have over 200 affiliates around the US providing help for families in the communities they serve.


First Light
2230 Fourth Avenue North
Birmingham, AL 35203
Phone: (205) 323-4277
Summary: An emergency shelter for homeless women and women with children; professional social work team assists to return to independence; Project Healthy Minds includes groups, life skills, art, activities which help restore dignity and hope. Several supportive housing programs for guests ready to move to the next level.

Firehouse Ministries
1501 3rd Ave N
Birmingham, AL 35203
Phone: (205) 252-9571
Summary: Men’s homeless shelter, emergency shelter, meals, clothing, addiction recovery, free legal counsel, transportation to mental health professionals, job interviews, art therapy, the YMCA and offering math and literacy tutoring.

Dothan Rescue Mission
216 E Crawford St
Dothan, AL 36301
Phone: (334) 794-4637
Summary: Sixty Bed Men’s Lodge, Twenty Five Bed Women’s Lodge and Sixteen Bed Family Lodge along with Chapel and Kitchen.

The Foundry Ministries
1804 6th Ave. North
Bessemer, AL 35020
Phone: (205) 428-8449
Summary: Emergency shelter, long-term recovery and rehab program, transitional housing, case management.

Jimmie Hale Mission
3420 2nd Ave North
Birmingham, AL 35222
Phone: (205) 323-5878
Summary: Emergency shelter, long-term recovery and rehab program, case management, an extended shelter for women with children.

Tennessee Valley Outreach
2117 Moulton Heights Road
Decatur, AL 35601
Phone: (256) 350-5226
Summary: Community outreach program, emergency shelter, transitional housing, case management.

Downtown Rescue Mission, Inc.
1400 Evangel Drive NW
Huntsville, AL 35816
Phone: (256) 536-2441
Summary: Day room, emergency shelter, long-term recovery and rehab program, transitional housing, case management.

Mission of Hope Ministries, Inc.
14960 Mission Rd
Mobile, AL 36608-8686
Phone: (251) 649-0830
Summary: Long-term recovery and rehab program, transitional housing.


Covenant House Alaska
755 A Street
Anchorage, AK 99501
Phone: (907) 272-1255
Summary: Homeless youth programs and services including engagement center, transitional living and wellness center.

Anchorage Gospel Rescue Mission
2823 E Tudor Rd
Anchorage, AK 99523-0510
Phone: (907) 563-5603
Summary: Emergency shelter, long-term recovery, and rehab program.

Fairbanks Rescue Mission
723 27th Avenue
Fairbanks, AK 99701
Phone: (907) 452-5343
Summary: Emergency shelter, long-term recovery and rehab program, case management.


Phoenix Rescue Mission
1801 S 35th Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85009
Phone: (602) 233-3000
Summary: Emergency shelter, long-term recovery and rehab program, transitional housing, case management.

Gospel Rescue Mission
707 W. Miracle Mile
Tucson, AZ 85705
Phone: (520) 740-1501
Summary: Emergency shelter, long-term recovery and rehab program, transitional housing.

Sunshine Rescue Mission, Inc.
124 S. San Francisco Street
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Phone: (928) 774-3512
Summary: Emergency shelter, long-term recovery and rehab program, transitional housing, case management.

The Society Of St. Vincent De Paul
420 W Watkins Rd
Phoenix, AZ 85003
Phone: (602) 254-3338
Summary: Emergency shelter, medical clinic, transitional housing, case management.


Little Rock Compassion Center
3618 W Roosevelt Rd
Little Rock, AR 72204
Phone: (501) 296-9114
Summary: Day room, emergency shelter, long-term recovery and rehab program, transitional housing, case management.

Union Rescue Mission
3000 Confederate Blvd
Little Rock, AR 72204
Phone: (501) 370-0808
Summary: Emergency shelter, long-term recovery and rehab program, transitional housing.

Community Rescue Mission, Inc.
P.O. Box 607
Fort Smith, AR 72902
Phone: (479) 782-1443
Summary: Day room, emergency shelter, transitional housing, case management.

8th Street Mission
717 E. Broadway
West Memphis, AR 72301
Phone: (870) 735-6010
Summary: Day room, emergency shelter, long-term recovery and rehab program, transitional housing.


Path of Life Ministries
1240 Palmyrita Ave Suite A
Riverside, CA 92507
Phone: (951) 786-9048
Summary: Companies can sponsor a night of shelter for our neighbors without homes in Riverside County. By becoming a Sponsor-a-Night partner, you help give 160 individuals experiencing homelessness a nutritious meal, hot shower, and a clean bed for one night of your choosing.

H.O.M.E Resource Center
1111 San Felipe Road, Suite 208
Hollister, Ca 95023
Phone: (831) 636-4190
Summary: Bus pick-up service is available. Warm bed, hot meal, shower and locker. First stop is at 4:30 pm – Straw Hat Pizza. Second stop is at 4:45 pm – West & 3rd St. Third stop is at 5:00 pm – Dunne Park.

The Midnight Mission
601 South San Pedro Street
Los Angeles, CA 90014
Phone: (213) 624-9258
Summary: Transitional housing, drug and alcohol recovery program, life-skills training.

The Mary Lind Foundation – Bimini Recovery Home
155 South Bimini Place
Los Angeles, CA 90004
Phone: (213) 388-5423
Summary: The Mary Lind Foundation provides a 6-month residential substance abuse treatment program for those in need.

Volunteers of America – Los Angeles
515 East 6th Street
9th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90016
Phone: (213) 627-8002
Summary: Volunteers of America provides 30 days of residential treatment for individuals with alcohol or other drug-related problems.

1736 Family Crisis Center
2116 Arlington Ave. #200
Los Angeles, CA 90018
Phone: (323) 737-3900
Hotline: (213) 222-1237
Summary: Safe housing for women, the shelter accepts single women, pregnant women and women with children up to 17 years old.

Union Rescue Mission
545 S San Pedro St
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Phone: (213) 347-6300
Summary: Union Rescue Mission provides emergency shelter for men, women and children, recovery programs, legal assistance, medical and dental care.

Episcopal Community Services – The Next Door
1001 Polk Street
San Francisco, CA 94109
Phone: (415) 292-2190
Summary: The Next Door provides a total of 100 beds for women and 150 beds for men, mental health and substance abuse services are also available.

St. Vincent De Paul Village – Paul Mirabile Center
3350 E Street
San Diego, CA 92102
Phone: (619) 446-2100
Summary: The Paul Mirabile Center provides short-term housing, mental health, and wellness services.

Volunteers of America – Sacramento
1900 Point West Way, #270
Sacramento, CA 95815
Phone: (916) 442-3691
Summary: Shelter provides up to 120 days of stay for men who have qualified for general assistance. Food and recovery services are also provided.


Denver Rescue Mission
1130 Park Avenue West
Denver, CO 80205
Phone: (303) 294-0157
Summary: Emergency shelter, long-term recovery and rehab program, transitional housing, case management.

Springs Rescue Mission
5 West Las Vegas
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
Phone: (719) 632-1822
Summary: Emergency shelter, long-term recovery and rehab program, case management.

Wayside Cross Gospel Rescue Mission
728 West 4th St.
Pueblo, CO 81003
Phone: (719) 544-4000
Summary: Day room, emergency shelter, long-term recovery and rehab program, case management.


Bridgeport Rescue Mission
1088 Fairfield Avenue
Bridgeport, CT 06605
Phone: (203) 333-4087
Summary: Emergency shelter, long-term recovery and rehab program, transitional housing, case management.

Good Samaritan Mission, Inc.
22 Maple Avenue
Danbury, CT 06810
Phone: (203) 748-4764
Summary: Day room, emergency shelter, long-term recovery and rehab program, transitional housing, case management.

Hartford Rescue Mission
PO Box 1628
Hartford, CT 06144-1628
Phone: (860) 324-4707
Summary: Hartford Rescue Mission exists first and foremost to offer help, hope and the life-changing message of God’s love through Jesus Christ to the poor, needy and homeless in Central Connecticut.


Sunday Breakfast Mission, Inc.
110 N. Poplar Street
Wilmington, DE 19801
Phone: (302) 656-8542
Summary: Emergency shelter, long-term recovery and rehab program, transitional housing.

District of Columbia

Central Union Mission
65 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: (202) 745-7118
Summary: Emergency shelter, long-term recovery and rehab program, transitional housing, case management.


Miami Rescue Mission – Center for Men
2020 NW 1st Ave.
Miami, FL 33127
Phone: (305) 571-2253
Summary: The Center for Men offers a comprehensive, year-long residential Regeneration Program for men who suffer from various life-controlling problems such as homelessness, drug and/or alcohol addiction.

Miami Rescue Mission – Center for Women
2250 NW 1st Ave.
Miami, FL 33127
Phone: (305) 571-2250
Summary: The Center is a 40-bed facility for homeless women and children, and provides emergency overnight shelter as well as a long-term recovery program.

Orlando Union Rescue Mission
410 W. Central Blvd.
Orlando, FL 32805
Phone: (407) 423-3596
Summary: This shelter includes an 80-bed dormitory, a community room, a chapel, a dining room and kitchen. Men off the street can stay at the Mission for 7 nights free of charge.

Waterfront Rescue Mission – Pensacola
16 West Main Street
Pensacola, FL 32502
Phone: (850) 436-7868
Summary: Pensacola Mission provides overnight shelter for men in need. Services include meals, warm shower, change of clean clothes, substance abuse referrals.

Christian Care Center – Women’s Care
220 North 13th Street
Leesburg, FL 34748
Phone: (719) 314-8733
Summary: The Women’s Care Center provides shelter for women and women with children. Other services include personal counseling, parenting classes, financial planning.

Christian Care Center – Men’s Residence
220 North 13th Street
Leesburg, FL 34748
Phone: (719) 314-8733
Summary: The Men’s Residence operates as a long-term residential substance abuse program.

Trinity Rescue Mission – Lifeline Program
622 West Union Street
Jacksonville, FL 32202
Phone: (904) 355-1205
Summary: Lifeline Program is a 60-day residential discipleship program available free of charge. This program is designed to break the pattern of homelessness and addiction while instilling hope that living as a productive member of society is a realistic and obtainable goal.

Covenant House – Ft. Lauderdale
733 Breakers Ave.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33304
Phone: (954) 561-5559
Summary: Covenant House provides emergency shelter for youth at risk.


Atlanta Union Mission – My Sister’s House
921 Howell Mill Rd., NW
Atlanta, GA 30318
Phone: (404) 367-2465
Summary: My Sister’s House offers services to women and children.

Savannah’s Gospel Rescue Mission
2414 Bull Street
Savannah, GA 31401
Phone: (912) 232-1979
Summary: Savannah‘s Gospel Rescue Mission provides housing, meals, Bible studies and substance abuse referrals.

Covenant House – Georgia
72 Broad Street
SW, Suite 87-A
Atlanta, GA 30303
Phone: (404) 688-4717
Summary: The Polar Rock Crisis Center provides up to 90 days of care for young adults between the ages of 18 and 21.

Atlanta Urban Ministry – City Mission
202 Milton Avenue
Atlanta, GA 30315
Phone: (404) 658-6300
Summary: Atlanta City Mission provides housing to single women and women with children (no boys over 12).

Set Free Atlanta – Family Sanctuary
1560 Memorial Drive
Atlanta, GA 30317
Phone: (404) 378-2990
Email: no email available
Summary: The Family Sanctuary provides housing, meals, counseling, medical assistance, and helps with job skills.

Blood and Fire Residence
188 Martin Luther King Drive
Atlanta, GA 30312
Phone: (404) 521-2424
Summary: The Blood and Fire Residence provides temporary housing to single women and families.

Jefferson Place
1135 Jefferson St.
Atlanta, GA 30318
Phone: (404) 874-0412
Summary: Jefferson Place provides emergency housing for men.

Union Mission – Grace House
120 Fahm Street
Savannah, GA 31401
Phone: (912) 236-7423
Summary: Grace House provides emergency housing for men, meals and substance abuse referrals.


River of Life Mission
101 N Pauahi St
Honolulu, HI 96817
Phone: (808) 524-7656
Summary: Day room, emergency shelter, long-term recovery and rehab program, case management.


Boise Rescue Mission
308 S. 24th Street
Boise, ID 83702
Phone: (208) 343-2389
Summary: Day room, emergency shelter, long-term recovery and rehab program, transitional housing, case management.

Idaho Falls Rescue Mission
840 Park Avenue
Idaho Falls, ID 83402
Phone: (208) 552-5575
Summary: Emergency shelter, long-term recovery and rehab program, transitional housing, case management.

Jubilee House
315 Grandview Drive
Twin Falls, ID 83301
Phone: (208) 736-2566
Summary: Jubilee House is a 12-month Christian recovery home for women whose lives have been torn apart by addictions.


Breakthrough Urban Ministries – Men’s Services
5237 N. Ashland Ave.
Chicago, IL 60640
Phone: (773) 989-8353
Summary: Breakthrough Urban Ministries provides day and overnight shelter for unemployed men. The program also offers food, clothing, employment training and substance abuse referrals.

Breakthrough Urban Ministries – Women’s Services
3330 W. Carroll Ave.
Chicago, IL 60624
Phone: (773) 722-0179
Summary: Breakthrough’s Women’s Services Program provides day and overnight shelter for women in crisis. The program also offers food, clothing, access to health care, and substance abuse referrals.

St. Martin de Porres House of Hope
6423 South Woodlawn Ave.
Chicago, IL 60644
Phone: (773) 643-5843
Summary: St. Martin de Porres House of Hope provides shelter for homeless women, pregnant teens, and recovering substance abuse women and their children.

Pacific Garden Mission – Men’s Division
646 S. State Street
Chicago, IL 60605
Phone: (312) 922-1462
Summary: Pacific Garden Mission offers three residential programs in their Men’s Divisions.

Pacific Garden Mission – The Gospel League Home
955 W. Grand Avenue
Chicago, IL 60622
Phone: (312) 922-1462
Summary: The Gospel League Home provides shelter for women and their children.

Peoria Rescue Ministries
601 S.W. Adams
Peoria, IL 61602
Phone: (309) 676-6416
Summary: Peoria Rescue Mission provides emergency shelter for men in need, services include nutritious meals, clean clothes, bible studies, and substance abuse referrals.

Helping Hands of Springfield
200 S 11th St
Springfield, IL 62703
Phone: (217) 522-0048
Summary: Helping Hands of Springfield provides 24-hour shelter for both individuals and families. Helping Hands also offers food, life skills training, and substance abuse rehabilitation programs.

God’s Shelter of Love for Single Women & Families
125 N. Water St., #200
Decatur, IL 62523
Phone: (217) 422-2790
Summary: The home can accommodate as many as 15 residents, the average stay for a resident of the home is three to four months. As a condition for shelter, all residents must actively job seek and all children must attend school.


Wheeler Mission Ministries – Center for Women
23 North Rural Street
Indianapolis, IN 46201
Phone: (317) 635-3575
Summary: The Care Center provides emergency and longer-term housing for women and women with children.

Fort Wayne Rescue Ministries
301 W. Superior Street
Fort Wayne, IN 46855
Phone: (260) 426-7357
Summary: Fort Wayne Rescue Ministries provides up to 30 nights of housing, food, case management, chapel services and substance abuse recovery programs.

Goshen Interfaith Hospitality Network
105 South 3rd Street
Goshen, IN 46526
Phone: (574) 534-2300
Summary: IHN provides emergency housing for families in need.

Fort Wayne Interfaith Hospitality Network
P.O. Box 13326
Fort Wayne, IN 46868
Phone: (260) 458-9772
Summary: IHN provides emergency housing for families in need.

Middle Way House for Women and Children
414 W. Kirkwood
Bloomington, IN 47402
Phone: (812) 333-7404
Summary: This program provides housing for women and women with children that have been victims of domestic violence.

Mozella’s House
2808 S. Anthony Blvd.
Fort Wayne, IN 46806
Phone: (219) 420-8233
Summary: Mozella’s House is a supportive transitional facility for formerly drug-addicted individuals.

Faith Mission of Elkhart
530 S. Main Street
Elkhart, IN 46516
Phone: (574) 293-3406
Summary: Faith Mission of Elkhart provides individuals with up to 14 days of housing, food, and counseling.

Anchor House
250 S. Vine Street
Seymour, IN 47229
Phone: (812) 522-9308
Summary: Anchor House provides emergency housing for families with children.


Mission of Hope
1537 1st Ave SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52402
Phone: (319) 362-5559
Summary: Dayroom, emergency shelter, long-term recovery, and rehab program.

Victory Center Ministries
516 9th Ave S
Clinton, IO 52733
Phone: (563) 242-9016
Summary: Dayroom, emergency shelter, long-term recovery and rehab program, transitional housing, case management.

Hope Ministries
5075 E University Ste B
Des Moines, IO 50327
Phone: (515) 265-7272
Summary: Dayroom, emergency shelter, long-term recovery and rehab program, case management.

If you’re homeless, the most important thing to know is that there are safe places to sleep in your area. If you have nowhere else to go, there are shelters, churches and other organizations that will let you stay there.

You also have the option of sleeping outside at night if you’re able to find a place where no one can see you. You should always be careful about where you sleep, especially if it’s cold outside.

In addition, it’s important to remember that sleeping at night isn’t the only way to get rest when you’re homeless. You can also try sleeping during the day if it’s too hot or dangerous for a night out on the streets!

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