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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


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


In the latest issue


Mat Amp, who knows a thing or two about addiction, met the editor of Illegal magazine and found out more about the campaign for decriminalisation.

An addict on a central London street shivers against the cold and the rising junk sickness in her soul. She has been arrested numerous times for drug use and solicitation, and scrapes...


There's a complicated relationship between begging and homelessness. And the solutions are not about sweeping people off the streets.

It’s a sunny evening in Glasgow and Edward is begging just a few feet from Rogano, a posh Glasgow oyster bar in the city centre. He says his Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), first granted after he injured...


Breaking News

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...
The majority of UK citizens – 51.9 per cent – voted on...
Skippering, a colloquial British term for rough sleeping, is a 30-minute ‘sonic...


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


Legal aid charade

 12 September 2016
Cuts to Legal Aid, that are leaving vulnerable people without access to housing justice, are leading more and more people to become homeless, a leading charity claimed last month.

The charity claim the problem is due to a Government Act passed four years ago in England and Wales, which restricts access access and reportedly saves the Government £350 million every year.

The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO) contained a set of laws that would supposedly help British citizens who are unable to afford a lawyer. The Act also created an official ban on squatting in residential properties, meaning people caught squatting could now face jail time.

The act was heavily criticised at the time: The Legal Action Group (LAG) opinion poll in November 2012 found that housing was thought to be the second most important legal aid priority. Calls were made on a film made by London-based musician Chester P appealing for a welfare reformation and campaigners fought hard.

Regardless, the government made cuts to the amount of money given over to free legal aid in April 2013.  From then new limitations to the amount of legal aid offered to those in need have been in place and is only  offered when a person is being evicted, rather than provided to those who risk homelessness.

Those who don’t meet the cut for receiving legal aid have four alternate options: to pay for a private lawyer, represent themselves or, seek aid from charities or to pay for help from elsewhere.

A spokesperson from Shelter Cymru says the effect of these cuts have led to an increase in homelessness.

Catherine Dixon, chief executive of The Law Society of England and Wales has said that gaining help is “vital” for people facing eviction, homelessness or renting a property which is in a state of "serious disrepair”. "Early legal advice on housing matters can make the difference between a family being made homeless or not," she told the  BBC.

In 2015, the ministry of Justice claimed to have spent over £1.5 billion on legal aid.

Charity begins at home?

 09 August 2016

Almost a third of charity workers don’t donate money to good causes, according to a survey by a money-saving website.

The poll of 1,982 Britons aged 21 and over who had been working in the charity sector for at least a year, revealed that the majority of those who don’t donate – 31 per cent – said that they could not afford to. However, a further 31 per cent of those who did not give to any third sector organisations said that the reason was that they felt they did enough for charity by doing the jobs they were paid to do.

Research, commissioned by, opened interviews by asking third-sector workers if they considered themselves to be charitable, with 82 per cent stating that they were.

However only 12 per cent gave more than £30 per month to charity. Those who gave £1–£5 made up 17 per cent, a further 32 per cent gave £6–£10 and six per cent gave £11–£20.

Almost half had never donated to the charity they worked for.

George Charles, a spokesman for the website that commissioned the survey, said: “People assume that those that work for charities, be it office work or in a shop, would be naturally very charitable and therefore we predict that they must be donating loads of money per month, but apparently this is not the case!”

And he urged charity workers, as well as the general public, to give whatever they felt able to afford.

“It is definitely difficult to give money every month when you don’t feel as if you have enough to look after yourself, but we have to remember that those people that charities help are in far worse situations and they really do need all the help they can get," he added.

What do you think? Should charity workers donate to the charity they work for?


Liverpool Police homeless curb beggars belief

 02 August 2016

© Ian Burt

Merseyside Police have adopted a football referee style card scheme to target aggressive begging following complaints that people sleeping rough have been behaving in an intimidating manner.

Homeless people who police decide are acting in an “anti-social manner” will be slapped with yellow cards. If singled out a second time, a red will follow – a final warning in no uncertain terms that an arrest or city centre ban is on the cards.

As the Law stands, street begging and sleeping rough are illegal in England and Wales, leading some to suggest that in theory what constitutes anti-social behaviour is open to the widest of interpretations.

Barely up and running, the scheme is already controversial, with critics like Liam Moore, of Merseyside social justice choir Voice in the City, speaking out about the victimising effect the scheme could have on homeless people in general.

Speaking to i news he said, “The issue is where will it stop. Does it open the floodgates to intimidation? Anyone who commits anti-social behaviour should be prosecuted, but we need solutions. Each person on the street is an individual and has their own story. Handing out red cards like football referee Howard Webb doesn’t solve people’s problems.”

The Merseyside measure is one of two recently undertaken with Liverpool City Council to encourage beggars and street drinkers to turn their lives around and enable them to access accommodation and support services with each card containing information to that effect. A new centre has also been opened to tackle addiction, homelessness and health problems.

One of the main organisers of the scheme, Liverpool Chief Superintendent Mark Wiggins, has defended the referee card scheme’s introduction. He suggested that police and local authority actions are motivated by complaints from the local business community and members of the public.

“These cards will help provide homeless people with the information they need to take advantage of support available. If some individuals do not take the offers of support and continue to commit offenses or anti-social behaviour then as a partnership we can take further action to protect the community.”

Wiggins remains adamant that the police’s starting point is one of support and help, preventing people who have received cards from getting into more trouble.

Inevitably concerns will be raised that Liverpool Police’s new approach potentially marks out any homeless individual unresponsive to it as a potential target for any overzealous PC out to hit his quota.

The scheme is backed by the council and the Liverpool Business Improvement District (BID) company, which represents more than 1,500 businesses in the city.

Originally reported by


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