Are you Homeless or have nowhere to stay tonight?

Get in contact as soon as possible to see if we can help.

Referrals to the Shelter and Service Charges

If you need somewhere to stay tonight then please call us on (01206) 549885.

Our referral process takes around 10 minutes as we complete a short risk assessment, asking questions about your specific needs and circumstances. If you are accepted, then the Staff member that you talk to will tell you to come to the Shelter at either 7:15pm (on weekdays) or 5:30pm Saturdays and 12:30pm on Sundays.

Upon admission, it is part of our policy to breath test everyone. We are a strict dry house, and have a zero tolerance alcohol policy. any score over 0.00 on the breathalyzer means that unfortunately we cannot accommodate you that night.

There is a small charge at the Shelter for use of the services. We ask that residents help with our Service Costs by paying £3.00 per night to stay. Please be sure that you have this with you upon admission.

If you would like to make a referral or have any questions or queries, then please do not hesitate to get in contact on the aforementioned number.


The rent element of the Night Shelter is normally claimed fully via Housing Benefit. We can claim this when you are in receipt of a “passported benefit” or have recently made a claim for such.

If you are unable to claim a “passported benefit” then this does not exclude you from the shelter, but you may have to cover the rent yourself.

Those in receipt of a non-passported benefit or are working, may still be able to claim Housing Benefit, although it is likely that there will be a “top up” to pay along with your service charges. This will be explained to you before your admission, although the amount of top up will only be know after you claim has been done. Before this, we ask that you pay the full amount until it has been confirmed, and the Housing Benefit claim will be done as a matter of urgency the next weekday from your admission.

Please talk to a member of staff for more information regarding the rent or if you would like anything explained.



A copy of our Admission Leaflet that shows the house rules can be downloaded here (pdf). Failure to abide by these rules may result in termination of your Licence Agreement, meaning that you will be banned from the night shelter.

Bans at the shelter vary in length, but all bans are decided by staff during the monthly staff meetings. You have the right to appeal bans, but before the meeting, you must not present at the shelter. Bans are typically given in 6, 12 and 18 month blocks, depending on the severity of the offence. In rare occasions, lifetime bans will be given if you either commit a serious offence at the shelter and the police have to be called, or you are too high needs for the staff to manage.

Some bans come with “EoC +FC” or Evidence of Change and Full Consent needed. In these cases, you must prove that after your ban is up you have been engaging with other services in the area and all staff at the shelter have to have consented to your return. For more information on the Ban process, please contact us and talk to a member of staff.


We are able to take referrals from third party agencies. If you wish to refer a client, we will need to know certain personal and sensitive details such as income details, national insurance number, offending history, mental health needs etc. Please be sure that you have a full and extensive record of the clients information before making a referral.


For reference, a copy of our Risk Assessment completed in house can be downloaded here (pdf 264kb).

Upon Admission

Upon admission, you will be shown into the office and complete the admission pack with the Project Worker. This normally takes around half an hour per person and will act as a guide to staff on how to go forward with supporting you. Afterwards, you will be designated a room and be given a key-card for you to access it. We currently have two single rooms and nine double rooms. The Night Shelter closes at 9:00am each morning and re-opens at the times specified above. During the day, you cannot stay at the shelter or use the services, unless there is a specific course running that day. The courses that we offer through the day will be explained to you once you have been admitted.


After Admission

Once admitted, a Resettlement interview will be scheduled between you and a member of the welfare team for you to look into rehousing you. Failure to engage with the services will lead to either early termination of your licence agreement, or termination upon your 28th night. This will be declared in writing.

A conditional place at the shelter can sometimes be offered, for a maximum of 28 nights only. This is only normally offered to those who have repeatedly stayed at the Shelter and have not engaged historically, but will be explained to you upon admission.

If we are unable to accept you or are full, then please click here for information on what to do next.

The ‘Matrix Foundation’ and Colchester Borough Council collaborated together to produce a ‘Pocket Guide to Homelessness Services’ leaflet which lists organisations who may be able to help you.

Download the Pocket Guide to Homelessness leaflet (pdf 576Kb) 


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