Opening doors for the homeless in Chelmsford

Accessing the Nightshelter

We want to help you get back on your feet after your recent experience.

At Chelmsford CHESS we want to help you get back on your feet after your recent experience.

You must appreciate that demand for the services we provide is very high so that we accept only those who are prepared to work with us to resolve their difficulties.

Please read all the information on this page carefully before you accept the bed-space offered by CHESS. The information is also available in leaflet form.

Before you are admitted you will need the following;

  • ID
  • National Insurance No.
  • Evidence of benefits or pay
  • Bank statement (if applicable)

Our commitments to you

We will provide you with your own room where possible (you may be required to share a room) for up to 28 days between the hours of 7 pm and 9 am.

Other things we aim to provide:

  • heat, light, breakfast and dinner if you want them
  • hot showers and toiletries
  • second hand clothing (which is often available)
  • support plan for moving on from CHESS to independent living
  • help with benefit claims

In return we expect


  • to respect and co-operate with staff who try to help you
  • not to treat the facilities as a "hotel" (If you don't use them someone else will!)
  • to read and keep to the house rules


  • to pay the daily charge promptly on your benefit or pay day
  • to sign on for benefits the day after entry to CHESS
  • to provide evidence of earnings and benefits when required
  • to support Housing benefit claims for CHESS

Health and cleanliness

  • to shower on entry and keep your room clean and tidy
  • to keep appointments with health professionals which are made for you

Alcohol and drugs are strictly banned from the Night Shelter

What will happen when I get to 23-24 George Street?

CHESS has eight beds in seven rooms. (One room has two beds which can be occupied by two men, two women or a couple.) If you agree to commit yourself to working with CHESS staff to resolve your difficulties, then you will be allocated a room (or a bed in the shared room) and may stay up to a maximum of 28 nights (provided you stick to the rules of the house and remain homeless). This will allow you sufficient time to agree a risk and needs assessment and a support plan which aims to help you move into more permanent sheltered or private accommodation as quickly as possible.
During your stay you will be able to get breakfast in the morning and a cooked meal in the evening.

We encourage residents to get jobs. Your contribution towards your keep will depend upon how much you earn.

After your first night, you will be asked to sign a commitment (an undertaking) to work with CHESS to move you on to other accommodation so that the room can be made available for other homeless people in the town.

Leaving CHESS
We hope you will find somewhere to live quite quickly. But if you break the rules you can expect to be sanctioned and persistent anti-social behaviour may result in eviction from the Shelter.

Apply for a bed