Rough sleepers

If you are concerned about someone who you think is rough sleeping, you can send an alert to StreetLink.

Emergency shelter

If you are sleeping rough, submit a self-referral to Streetlink. This will then be directed to the outreach service in Chelmsford who can offer you assistance.

CHESS Homeless offer support for single homeless adults in Chelmsford and Essex.

They have a limited amount of emergency accommodation in their night shelter.

If you engage with them, they can offer support and link you up with other services if you need them.

You can refer yourself online, or give them a call on 01245 281104.

ID and proof of income

To access services, including the CHESS shelter and other accommodation, you need to have some form of ID and proof of income. These services ask for proof to find out if you're entitled to housing benefit.

The ideal form of ID is a passport or full birth certificate.

You may be able to use another form of photo ID, if you don't have a passport or birth certificate.

To get a copy of your birth certificate, you can ask any family you are in contact with. You can also apply for a copy of your birth certificate from where you were born. If you were born in Essex, you can apply for a copy of your birth certificate  from the Essex Record Office.


If you don't have any income, you need to make a benefit claim.

You can make your claim at your nearest JobCentre Plus. They will help you find out which benefits you can get, and tell you how to make your claim. You will have to make your claim online or by phone, depending on the benefit.

If you need to make your benefit claim online, you will be able to access the internet at JobCentre Plus.

You need to keep a record of your claim and your income when you start receiving your benefits. This will be your proof of income.

By the end of 2018, Universal Credit will replace a lot of the existing benefits in the Chelmsford area. You can look at Citizens Advice for more information about Universal Credit.

Finding somewhere to stay

If you want to find somewhere to stay, you can look at our advice about improving your housing situation. You can find out about renting privately, asking family or friends and getting more help.

Finding help and advice


Sanctus is a local charity offering shelter and food during the day.

Chelmsford Seventh-Day Adventist Church

The Chelmsford Seventh-Day Adventist Church hold a regular soup kitchen. You can check their calendar of events to find out when it is taking place.

Open Road

Open Road provide support, advice and information for anyone affected by drugs and alcohol.


Samaritans is a charity offering support to anyone who needs someone to talk to. You can find their phone number, email address and their location in Chelmsford.

Citizens Advice

Citizens Advice provide advice about a range of topics. You can visit them in Chelmsford if you want to speak to someone.

Street Support Chelmsford

Street Support Chelmsford is an online hub where you can find what support is available to you.

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