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thePavement

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.

 
 

Downloads

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!

 

volunteer

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

 
 
 

The web site is coded by hand at Flat Earth Industries

The type is set in FS Albert webfont delivered courtesy of Fontdeck

Ollie the twitterrific bird appears courtesy of www.twitterrific.com

 

In the latest issue

 

In November the temperature starts to plummet... it’s the kind of cold that goes into your bones. If you’re sleeping on the street – or if you’re sofa surfing and unsure of where you’re sleeping tonight, it’s always tough going. But when winter arrives, it’s brutal. This is also...
 
 

Mat Amp says the second best time to get clean is now. Drug addiction constructs a maze out of every impulse and desire you experience until it is hardwired into your mind. It’s a maze made ever more complex by the rituals of ‘using’ and the intense and confusing...
 
 
Jerry* spent over two years at Wandsworth Prison before finishing his sentence...
 
 
Cheryl has spent the last 10 years in and out of Scotland’s...
 
 
Prison numbers are at an all-time high. The prison population of England...
 
 
Raynor Winn met ex-offenders who went walking and found it saved their...
 
 
 

Announcements

09 February 2017
 

Listen to our first 'From the Ground Up' podcast and hear from our team about the difficulties in getting help when you are homeless and also have both mental health and addiction issues. Produced by Steve Urquart.

 
 
09 February 2017
 

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

 
 17 November 2017
 

Lodging House Mission, Glasgow © Ilisa Stack
At the Pavement we see things a bit differently. All our stories are written with our homeless readers firmly in mind. Our writers and photographers are volunteers and many of them have first hand experience of homelessness too, as well as some of the issues that can go hand-in-hand with that. We think it shows and it helps us create a magazine that has your interests at heart.

We’re always looking to increase the number of volunteers working with us who know what it’s like to have been there, done that. And we also want to give people who have been homeless the help and support they need to make their ideas into articles and images. To help us do that we fundraise to run training projects in our distribution cities. Right now we have two projects running.

From the Ground Up, London

This is the second time we’re running From the Ground Up. It’s part of a three-year project in partnership with homeless charity Groundswell and it’s funded by Comic Relief. Our current participants are receiving support and training from award winning journalists. At outreach sessions they get the chance to speak to other homeless people to find out about the stories that matter to them and think about how they take them from idea to the page.

This year’s intake of “peer journalists”, who all have experience of homelessness, are already working hard on their ideas for their first special edition of the Pavement. We can’t wait to see the results early next year.

To be kept informed of our next application deadline contact Rob: Rob.Edgar@groundswell.org.uk

 

The Pavement Network project in Glasgow

Working with the Lodging House Mission day centre in Glasgow this project is about mapping the network of places that offer help and support for those who are – or have experienced – homelessness and other issues that can make us feel excluded.

We’re not just interested in places that offer emergency help. We’re also looking to capture – in word, sounds and images – the places that can help us rebuild our lives, from volunteering opportunities to community meals and bike projects. We’ll be out taking photos and doing interviews, and are creating a blog. With the help an artist we’re also building a visual map of all the information we gather.

All sessions are open to everyone – no experience required – and all materials provided. Suggestions are always welcome so come along to our Tuesday morning sessions from 10-12noon at the Lodging House Mission, Glasgow and help us network.

To find out more contact Karin: karin@thepavement.org.uk

At one of our first sessions of the Network project participants discussed what they want for the services supporting them. Here’s what we wrote together.

At the best places you’re always welcome. You could look like death warmed up and someone will still say: “Morning”. They treat you like a person. In the evening it’s: “Hello my friend” and out goes the hand. Manners, treating someone well, wee friendly things, that makes a big difference.

But at the some time there are some questions you don’t want asked. As someone who is a different colour I don’t want to always be asked: “Where are you from?” That’s not always a friendly question. It can be about questioning: “Are you legally here? Are you entitled to what we are offering?”

What you’re looking for is somewhere that’s welcoming to anyone, where everyone is treated the same. If it’s somewhere where some people pay, like a café or a community meal, then you still don’t to be treated differently if you are there for what they offer for free. It shouldn’t matter.

Religion can create a barrier – it can make it feel like people will only help you if you fit their criteria. There can be practical reasons like if you’re Muslim you want to eat Halal and some people might want that but it’s important there are no conditions put on the help that is offered.

It’s nice to go to somewhere that is a lovely place. If you know that someone is taking pride in how somewhere looks then it makes you think they will also treat people well. It’s wee touches, like a garden or a nice place to sit.

What you call me matters too. Some people hate the word service user – not everyone does, I know it’s factual – you’re using a service. But it can be stigma. I don’t want to be in this situation. I’m trying to stand on my own feet.

Customer or client is sometimes relevant – like if I’m in a B&B or hostel and as a result of me they are earning £700 a week then the owner or the staff should treat me with some respect! Member is a nice word because it feels like you part of something.

Having somewhere that’s in the community – a community centre – that works well. You can meet other people that are part of the same struggle. It should be run by the community itself, it’s more likely to be longer lasting. Even when there’s no money about the people who are part of that community will help each other. They have a common cause.

Written jointly by members of the Pavement Glasgow group

 
 
 

Controlling the rent

 17 November 2017
 

Joey Simons from Living Rent. © Jamie Jackson

A private let is now the most common last address given by people who end up homeless. Thanks to benefit caps, many people find themselves without somewhere to stay because they can no longer afford the bills.

It’s no wonder. UK rents are expected to rise faster than house prices over the next five years. The average monthly rent paid for new lettings in greater London in July was £1,564. Even in Scotland, rent has doubled in Scotland in just over a decade, and the average rent is now 78 per cent of the monthly income of an 18–20-year-old working full-time. But in Glasgow, residents are fighting back. Joey Simons, events organiser with the Glasgow branch of the Living Rent Tenants Union, tells Jamie Jackson why he’s campaigning to see Rent Pressure Zones introduced.

Jamie: What are your objectives and how are you going to achieve them?

Joey: Rents are increasing every year. Our objective is to get a rent pressure zone implemented across the whole of Glasgow to ensure that rents are capped. So far we've dealt with individual cases and we've done direct actions to prevent evictions or to ensure people get deposits back.

This is kind of on a bigger level, dealing with rents across the whole of the city. We want to use a variety of tactics basically to raise the issue of the rent pressure zone and to put pressure on Glasgow City Council to make that application to the Scottish Government.

Landlords and letting agencies and also politicians have been responsible for this situation, developing in Glasgow.

Jamie: If I wanted to get involved with this how could I take part in this direct action or canvassing?

Joey: People can come and organise in their own neighbourhood if they are concerned about rents in their place. Just go out and get in touch with Living Rent and we can go around door to door and speak to people and do some canvassing. We're organising a series of public meetings as well where people can come and talk about their own personal experience and bring their own ideas as well.

Jamie: Could you tell us a little about the SNP MSP Ruairi Kelly's involvement?

Joey: The SNP's is the largest part in the [coalition] Glasgow City Council but they are in a minority. It supports the idea of a rent pressure zone and to start making that application. We need to come at this from all angles so if we've got councillors and people within the city chambers to support a rent pressure zone and who are going to help that application and that’s excellent.

We need to work together: we need people getting out in their own communities, through people demonstrating the hardship that rent increases have caused them.

Jamie: What's brought you to work with living rent and what are the main issues that got you interested?

Joey: Well for me, it was being involved in political campaigns for a long time, things around benefit cuts, democratic rights, rights to protest in the streets. Housing is the key issue that's facing people cause no matter whether you're working or unemployed or if you are homeless housing is key to a dignified life.

There’s been a massive destruction in council housing, sell offs of public housing and demolitions. This has forced people into the private sector.

Personally, I've lived in ten different flats in the last ten years; that's just the reality of the private sector.

For me this campaign is something exciting, that's positive, that's got real potential to grow because there's been no housing organisation. There's been no tenancy union in Glasgow for a long time. Instead of responding to crisis there's a chance for tenants to organise together and build something long term.

 

What is a rental pressure zone?

From 1 December 2017, local councils in Scotland can apply to Scottish Government to have an area designated as a 'rent pressure zone' (RPZ) if they can prove that rents in the area are rising too much and the rent rises are causing problems for the tenants. It would mean rents in the city were capped for up to five years at the consumer price index plus one per cent.

 
 
 

St Mungo calls for hostel action

 17 November 2017
 

The charity St Mungo’s has called on the government to sustain funding for hostels across the UK. The request arrived on World Homeless Day (10 October), with a government announcement on supported housing due imminently.

Government strategy to tackle the homelessness rise has been in the spotlight recently, following the National Audit Office’s report into the current approach. The report found that funding for housing related support fell by 45 per cent between 2010-11 and 2014-15.

Unsurprisingly the number of homeless accommodation beds fell by 18 per cent in England over the last seven years, whilst there has been a 134 per cent increase in the number of homeless people in the country over that same time-frame.

Research by the Save Hostels Rebuild Lives and the National Housing Federation estimated there was a shortfall of 16,692 places in supported housing for working-age people in 2015/16, costing taxpayers roughly £361 million.

Homeless Link found that offering people at risk of homelessness a safe and supported place to stay saves £6,703 per person per year by reducing costs to health, social care and criminal justice services.

Hostels today operate on a shoestring budget, post 2010 the vast majority of councils slashed their Supporting People budgets as austerity bit. The legacy of these cuts is a dearth of hostels and beds to support the increasing number of homeless people.

St Mungo’s supports 2700 people in or at risk of homelessness every night, providing counsel and a bed.

Chief executive Howard Sinclair has outlined the value of hostels: “Hostels are the primary route out of rough sleeping in this country.”

Official figures taken from autumn 2016 found 4134 people were sleeping rough on a singe night in England.

Evidently a rethink on the current apathy gripping government approach to the dilemma concerning hostels is necessary.

Mooted proposals over hostel funding include capping the housing benefit entitlement of supported housing residents and increasing the reliance on relatively insecure local discretionary funding, St Mungo’s are adamant this will only serve to aggravate the current situation

Sinclair added: "The government must first secure these vital services that provide a place of safety and hope for thousands of people.”

 
 
 
 

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© Copyright 2009-2014 The Pavement. Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656 Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760 ISSN (online) 1757-0484