the Pavement relies on donations and volunteering from individuals and companies...
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.
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
Ollie the twitterrific bird appears courtesy of www.twitterrific.com
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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!
Have you had your benefits cut off? Get in touch with Karin - thank you.
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.
A landmark legal decision which should help people who are street homeless access emergency accommodation has been widely welcomed by campaigners as an important step towards justice for homeless people.
The ruling, made yesterday by the Supreme Court, was based on a legal challenge brought by three homeless people who were turned away from Southward and Solihull councils after seeking help.
It aimed to redefine the way that councils judge someone to be ‘vulnerable’, a definition that means they qualify for housing.
Previously, councils made the decision about someone’s vulnerability by comparing them with “an ordinary street homeless person”, a comparison known as the ‘Pereira test’. In practice, this often meant arguments that the person was vulnerable as a result of depression, suicidal thoughts or self-harm were dismissed as they had this in common with most street homeless people.
However, yesterday’s judgment means that they must in future compare them with an ‘ordinary person if made homeless’ rather than someone who is already homeless, which means such arguments will be made legally valid again.
The judge also emphasised the need for councils to treat every person applying for assistance with housing as an individual, taking on board their own circumstances.
The change has been described as “very significant” by legal experts working in homelessness, such as Giles Peaker.
Val Stevenson, chair of trustees of the Pavement, said: “This is seriously good news. Councils will have to house more single vulnerable homeless people, and without them having to be ‘even more vulnerable than the vulnerable’.”
Crisis and Shelter made interventions in the legal challenge, with St Mungo's Broadway and Homeless Link providing supporting evidence.
Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis, said: “This ruling represents a major step in tackling the injustice faced by so many single homeless people in England today.
“The reality is that anyone sleeping on the streets is vulnerable, and we applaud today’s ruling for making it easier for people to get help. The Court is also clear that while councils are often under huge financial strain, this must not be used as an excuse for avoiding their legal duties.”
However, he and others pointed to the lack of available housing as an urgent problem that continues to lead to people who desperately need help being turned away.
Howard Sinclair, St Mungo's Broadway chief executive, said: "We welcome this important ruling as we know that the previous test had become a very high hurdle for single homeless people to overcome and led to extremely vulnerable people being at risk of rough sleeping.
"However, the concerning issue is the problem of what housing is available for people. It means that already pressurised housing options are going to be stretched even further for those who are shockingly vulnerable, and often in serious physical and mental ill health."
Tony, 48, became homeless after losing his job. Unable to find work or a place to live, he slept wherever he could – first under a bridge and later in the woods. He went to his local council, but despite having a heart condition, he didn’t get the help he needed.
“I was at a real low ebb. I was sleeping in the forest because I didn’t want to get kicked or punched. It was a really bad winter. I was weak and worried.
“Going to the council felt like my last resort – I’d tried everything else. When I went in, it felt claustrophobic. It felt like quite an angry place. I approached the lady at the desk and said: ‘I’m homeless and I need help with housing’. And she said: ‘You’re not going to get it’. That was before I’d even seen an advisor. She was very clinical – just bouncing me off straight away without giving me a chance.
“Eventually she made me an appointment with the homeless team, who basically told me the same thing: that they couldn’t help. I had unstable angina, but it didn’t make any difference. All she gave me was a list of shelters. But I already knew where the shelters were. Other than that, she had no advice for me.
“I felt like a second-class citizen. It was a horrible feeling. When I left the council I went back to the forest. I found some cardboard, put that down, my sleeping bag, and I was just back there. I remember being very lonely. And I had this feeling that the government didn’t care at all.”
One in eight Scottish men under 25 is now unemployed, according to a new study which highlights the poverty faced by under 30s.
The ‘Monitoring Poverty and Social Exclusion in Scotland 2015’ report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation found that among working-age adults, there has been a rise in the number in poverty among the under-30s by 29,000, and a fall of 67,000 among 30- to 64-year-olds.
While the poverty rate for children and pensioners has fallen, working-age poverty has risen from 19 per cent to 21 per cent.
Thousands of homeless people are being moved around London without councils informing each other, reports Inside Housing.
Due to a shortage of housing stock, some 8,000 families have been moved “out of area” in the past two years without councils properly communicating about where the families are placed, according to an FOI request made by the magazine.
This has left people without the health, education and other support services that they need, particularly when placed far from their communities and contacts.
The investigation found that in October 2014, 2,333 notifications were sent regarding homeless families being moved “out of area”. However, government data shows that nearly 11,900 families were moved out of area during this period.