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If you're leaving prison or a youth detention centre

Always plan ahead for your release to have the best chance of not ending up homeless.

Housing advice and resettlement services - this service is often offered by staff from Shelter, who are based within a number of prisons in the North West.

Always try to see them before leaving prison to:

  • ask for advice;
  • see if they can make contact with St Helens Borough Council on your behalf. This is usually done via a 'duty to refer'. The link to this document can be found at the bottom of this page.

If you have access to a computer, you can self refer to St Helens Housing Options: email

Once we are made aware of your situation we may also be able to arrange a phone interview with you while in prison. This will be to assess your situation and provide advice.


If you are at risk of having nowhere to stay on leaving prison please be aware that:

  • We do not have a duty to give everyone a temporary accommodation. We will try to arrange an emergency bed or provision to prevent you from having to sleep rough while other options are considered.
  • You will be asked a series of questions when you have your interview. This is so we can assess your situation and help create a personalised housing plan.

If we are contacted before your release:

  • You can be given information and advice in a personal housing plan. This aims to help you find a place to stay when you leave prison.
  • It gives us time to:

                                     - Work out if there is any duty to give you a temporary place to stay when you leave prison;

                                     - Make referrals to other accommodation providers and hostels.


If you leave with nowhere to stay, please contact Housing Options and Advice Service upon your release on 01744 675150

Outside of office hours, the emergency duty team can be contacted on 0845 050 0148.

  • If you think you will have to sleep on the street, tell the staff. They can refer you to the rough sleeping co-ordinator to see if they can help.
  • If you need support with anything else, tell the staff. They can tell you about other places that may offer help.

If you have not already done so and wish to be considered for social housing, you can register an application at