What is Couch Surfing?
“Couch surfing” is a word people use to describe when a person hops from one place to the next as they are in need of a place to stay. This is usually because they do not have any safe and/or stable place to stay. Sometimes it may be just staying a friend’s house for a night or two until things get better at home, other times it might be the person can’t go home and they could be staying with a different friend every night. Or anything in between.
Does this sound like you or someone you know? There are places you can go for help.
This Sounds Like Me:
So you’ve had a massive fight with your parents and they kicked you out, or maybe you just got fed up and left. Your friend offers for you to stay at their place for the night. What do you do next?
For many people in this situation they don’t know what to do next. They don’t know how long they can stay at their friend’s place and they don’t want to be a burden either to the friend or their parents.
People are also often worried that leaving home will make their parents angry at them and then make the situation worse.
For tips on what to do next and how to talk to your friend, their parents and your parents about the situation check out our Info for Couch Surfing Young People.
You could also check out Mel’s article on her top 5 tips for couch surfers.
You might also find the links on our Need Help? page useful.
This Sounds Like My Friend:
Well, if its a friend at school you can share our site with them and particularly the factsheet above which is written especially for young people in that situation. If your friend is staying with you then here are some things you might want to think about:
- how long are they going to stay?
- what changes might there be in your friendship if your friend stays for more than just a night or two?
- how supportive are your parents? (ie will your friend staying cause problems between you and your parents)
One thing that might help you and your friend to negotiate with your parents around them staying is to give your parents our Info for Carers of Couch Surfing Young People.
This Sounds Like My Child:
Your child decided to stay at their friend’s house for a few nights and won’t come home. They tell you they need a break but you call it running away and feel frustrated because you can’t get them to come home and don’t know what else to do.
The good news is that there are things you can do to improve the situation and help your child come home. Young people run away for a variety of reasons and whether you agree with them or not, the most important step towards getting them to come home is to listen to their concerns and show them that you care. This is never easy, especially if you have been angry or worried (maybe you still are) but if your child knows that you want things to be better for everyone then they are more likely to come home.
For more strategies to help in this situation check out our Info for Parents of Couch Surfing Young People.