To find shelter by moving from one person‘s house or apartment to another, sleeping on the couch.
The first night Josh spent with his friend who worked the overnight shift at a gas station kiosk. The second night was much tougher, one of the city's men's shelters where the good-looking 17-year-old Josh was called "fresh meat." He barely slept and vowed never to return.
The following weeks were survived couch-hopping from friend to friend until a bed opened at Notre Dame House, an emergency shelter for street youths located in an old home near the corner of James and Cannon streets.
Agnes Bongers, "Give me shelter," The Hamilton Spectator, February 5, 2000
Joan Cassese split from her husband of 10 years in 1992, setting off to start a new life. But when lurching earth crumbled her Woodland Hills apartment last month, she tumbled back in time. For one awkward night, Cassese moved in with The Ex and has been couch-hopping ever since.
John M. Glionna, "Earthquake: The long road back," Los Angeles Times, February 16, 1994
Couch-hopping is also called couch surfing or hidden homelessness. Thanks to Brian Kariger for suggesting today's word. Also to Travis Smith, who told me about the "couch-surfing" synonym.