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thePavement is the free magazine for the UK's homeless people

We are committed to publishing objective reportage, tailored to a homeless readership, and to publicising the complete range of services available to homeless people, to reduce hardship amongst our readers and to enable them to guide their future.

We believe that drives to produce homogenous services for homeless people are misguided, and that a range of service types and sizes are the only way to cater successfully for our diverse readership.

We believe that sleeping rough is physically and mentally harmful; however, we do not preach to those who chosen to, nor do we believe that all options to get off the streets are necessarily beneficial to long-term health and happiness.



Your rights

The Rights Guide for Rough Sleepers outlines your rights around arrest, stop and search, answering police questions, move-ons, no-drinking zones, sleeping rough, taking a pee in public and highway obstruction. It was put together by The Pavement, Housing Justice, Liberty and Zacchaeus 2000.

If your benefits have been sanctioned (cut off or reduced) and you feel this is unfair, you can appeal. Print this letter and hand it in at the office where you sign on. If you feel you need more advice about sanctions, contact  Zacchaeus 2000 or your nearest  Citizen’s Advice Bureau. And let us know at The Pavement!



If you are a journalist with some free time to research and write stories for the magazine, please contact us . For other volunteering opportunities, please approach organisations listed on our Services pages or your local volunteer centre


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In the latest issue


I spent nearly five years homeless, including a stint on the street. So you’d think I’d know about night shelters. But I didn’t know much. Only while writing this did I realise I didn’t go because, with the twisted logic of someone who really needed help, I didn’t think I deserved somewhere safe to stay.

I’ve met...


It was coming up to Christmas 2007 and I was living on the streets of London. I had never heard of Crisis at Christmas before and I honestly did not know what I would be doing; I’d thought about going to Connections [a city centre day centre] but, frankly, I didn’t even know if it would...


Breaking News

Glasgow City Council has raised the alarm about the introduction of Universal...
St Mungo’s released the second phase of their Stop the Scandal campaign...
Cuts to Legal Aid, that are leaving vulnerable people without access...
Almost a third of charity workers don’t donate money to good causes,...
Merseyside Police have adopted a football referee style card scheme to target...
A new bill, proposed by the Conservative MP, could transform homeless services...


17 August 2016


Would to use your life experience to make a difference? Groundswell and The Pavement Magazine are working together on a new project. It’s called From the Ground Up and we need your help.

We’re looking for committed, enthusiastic volunteers with personal experience of homelessness to train to become Peer Journalists. We will provide training to help you interview others about the issues they are facing and report on them in the Pavement magazine.

Your lived experience of the issue will help give you insight, but we can give you the tools to help you best express the problems you encounter. We need London-based volunteers to help us raise awareness and drive the changes that will make the lives of homeless people better. Could that be you?

Find out more here or contact with any questions. Please apply by Friday 2nd September 2016

Download PDF (192KB)

23 June 2015

Our Glasgow Word On The Street project went so well that we are now running it in London. Véronique Mistiaen, lecturer and human rights journalist, led the second session, 'How to tell your own story'. you can read more about the project on her blog, The Right Human. Check out the trainees' blog to follow their progress from newbie to news hound.

23 June 2015

Will you use your admin ninja skills to help a unique small charity working to support homeless people?

Download PDF (141KB)

23 June 2015

Do you want to use your fundraising skills to support a unique small charity working to support homeless people?

Download PDF (146KB)

23 June 2015

Will you donate your a journalism or photography skills to help the homeless people we work to support?

Download PDF (146KB)

04 November 2014

Our Glasgow-based Word on the Street team of reporters and photographers – along with London guest writers, who also have experience of the homelessness – has been working hard on a special edition that tells it how it is: benefit sanctions, a cartoon about hostel life and how football can change the world, for starters. The WOTS team is: Iain Alan, Brenda Brown, Brian Dobbie, Jason Kelly, Peter Kelly, Jim Little, Caroline McCue, Alex McKay, Patrick O’Hare and Roddy Woods. Thanks, team!

19 August 2011

Wow.  The Pavement’s Homeless City Guide, which appears in every issue of the magazine, has made it into New York’s Museum of Modern Art. 

Latest Stories


Glasgow homeless services at risk

 12 January 2017

Hundreds of people in Glasgow's city centre already sleep rough after being turned away from homeless services ©GiuloFarella for Creative Commons

Glasgow City Council has raised the alarm about the introduction of Universal Credit – due to be in place across the city within 18 months – which, it claims, will put its ability to provide homeless services at risk.

The concerns are raised in a paper due to be presented to the city’s Integration Joint Board next Wednesday. It reveals that the council has already racked up £144,000 in arrears from just 73 homeless Universal Credit claimants. Those receiving the benefit do not receive the full cost of temporary accommodation provided.

The council has already been working with the Scottish Housing Regulator of over a year because of its failure to provide temporary accommodation to all unintentionally homeless people, a legal obligation in Scotland. It now claims that under current Universal Credit proposals it will not be able to run a service that meets its statutory duties.

The paper notes that: “The city’s Homelessness Services is dependent on housing benefit/rental income for a significant percentage of its front line staffing to manage operational demand.”

It highlights that homeless people who have been put on to Universal Credit, often in error, are unable to return to Job Seekers Allowance with arrears now putting strain on a budget that already runs at a £1.4million annual deficit.

But it also claims that when the Universal Credit roll-out is completed in September 2018, services for homeless people, temporary accommodation and staff jobs will all be affected.

“The welfare reforms identified in this paper constitute a major risk to the delivery of statutory homelessness services in Glasgow, with particular concerns in relation to front line staffing, delivery of statutory services, provision of temporary furnished accommodation, which is also a statutory duty, and in relation to the existing recurring budgetary pressure of £1.4m,” it states.

The paper, which offers no solutions at this stage concludes: “Following on from the significant savings applied to budgets in the past 5 years, Homelessness Services can no longer absorb this level of impact and continue to operate a sustainable service that meets its statutory duties.”

Sandy Farquharson, director of Glasgow’s Marie Trust day centre, said the paper caused him “considerable concern” as he had previously been “totally unaware” of the long-term consequences of Universal Credit on homeless services.

“The consequences for the council so far for those people affected by homelessness who have already been transferred to Universal Credit in error are quite alarming,” he added. “There is no way the council can sustain this level of loss of income both now and in the future and deliver current services to those affected by homelessness.

“It is right and proper that the council is flagging up their concerns at this stage so that Government policy can be challenged at this stage and in the future.”

Shelter Scotland called for solutions to be found. Alison Watson, Deputy Director for Shelter Scotland, said: “By its own admission, Glasgow City Council is already turning people away who have a statutory right to access temporary accommodation. Raising the alarm like this must now be followed up with urgent action to ensure that funding remains in place for high-quality temporary accommodation.”

A Glasgow City Council spokesman said: “Welfare reform has already had a significant impact on our budget for homelessness services.

“The introduction of universal credit is placing further pressure on homelessness budgets and it is anticipated that delivery of these services will become increasingly challenging.

“We will continue to seek ways to mitigate the impact of these changes so that we continue to operate an effective service for those affected by homelessness.”

A DWP spokesman added: "One person without a home is one too many and we are investing over £500m to tackle homelessness and stop it happening in the first place.

"Local Authorities are best placed to understand the needs of their residents, that's why we will have provided them with around £1bn in funding by 2020 to support people transitioning to our reforms."


Stop the scandal

 06 December 2016

St Mungo’s released the second phase of their Stop the Scandal campaign this week. It forms part of their investigation into mental health and rough sleeping in the UK.

The report finds that mental health services in a third of UK areas with 10 or more rough sleepers are not adequately provisioned.

“People who sleep rough with mental health problems are 50 per cent more likely to get stuck on the streets,” say St Mungo’s.

Nights are getting longer and it’s even more dangerous to be on the streets. The number of people sleeping rough in England has more than doubled since 2010. The figure stood at more than 3,500 on any given night in autumn 2015.

Mental health is a pressing issue for homeless people and the figures show that 40 per cent of rough sleepers have a mental health problem. Those with a mental health problem experience even more difficulties if they are forced to sleep on the street.

“Out of the clients we spoke to, many had mental problems when they found themselves on the streets, and most told us that their mental health got worse as a result of sleeping rough.”

Eight of the 21 people interviewed for the report could relate a time they had attempted or considered suicide. Even more shockingly, 129 people who were seen sleeping rough in London between April 2010 and March 2016 died within the same year they were seen on the street.

People with mental health problems often fall through the gaps in legislation and local services. Specialist mental health services can provide effective treatment and support for people sleeping rough.

The report dives into 5 principles that can transform services St Mungo’s have learned from people with lived experience of sleeping rough.


From the Ground Up

 05 December 2016

Groundswell and the Pavement have joined forces to start a new journalism project that aims to help homeless people speak up on the issues that matter.

In the joint project ‘From the Ground Up’, homeless people will be supported by journalists to highlight and write about the most important issues they are facing in their lives.

From the Ground Up, funded by Comic Relief for three years, will involve training people who have experience of homelessness to be peer journalists, writing for the magazine. The new writers will join existing Pavement writers with lived experience of homelessness, using their first hand knowledge as a starting point for articles.

Julz, one of 10 peer journalists on the project, said: “Having been homeless myself, I’m interested in helping other homeless people. From the Ground Up is exciting as it will give us a chance to highlight the issues that people on the street face. Things are getting harder and harder for people to survive, and I hope that we can start to find some solutions.”

So far, peer journalists have been out and about talking to people about the issues affecting them in day centres, drop-ins, on the street and beyond. And we’ve been demanding answers to tough questions from policy makers and service providers too.

Stephan, another peer journalist on the project, explained: “I think that people feel that if you are homeless, you don’t have any rights. Exploring the problems homeless people have and writing about them in the Pavement means that people can better understand their rights.

Early next year, Groundswell will also be running the first of six Action Days, which will bring together volunteers, homeless people, service staff and policy makers to look at the issues that have been highlighted. Our next two issues will feature their first articles.

Karin Goodwin, editor of the Pavement, said: “This project combines the expertise of homeless people with that of the journalists working alongside them. “It allows them to tell the stories that matter in new ways.”

Martin Burrows, project manager at Groundswell, said: “Groundswell aims to deliver genuine, long-term change to homeless people through improved services and policy, and reduced discrimination. We see this as one way to help do just that.”

If you'd like to find out how you can get involved, email


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