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.
As Darren talks about his work in the Providence Row’s kitchen, carried out under the sharp eyes of a local expert chef, you wouldn’t believe that he’d recently spent 18 months sleeping rough.
He’s come a long way since the days when, having been made redundant and unable to pay the rent, he was kicked out of his private let. He found himself on the streets, and losing hope fast. When a friend told him about Providence Row, Darren was struggling with a gambling problem: “I was lower than low.” he says. Now, he’s cooking... in more ways than one.
Providence Row, founded in London’s East End in 1860, has developed beyond its soup kitchen roots and is now a “one-stop support, advice and training facility”.
Darren works in the kitchen with other homeless and vulnerably-housed people, making breakfast and lunch with chef Antoine from the neighbouring Andaz Liverpool Street Hotel. Darren says: “Cooking here is like something I’m giving back.”
The rules here are strict but simple: “Knives point to the floor and everybody gets on,” he laughs.
Dom Gates, training scheme manager, says Providence Row is unique in that it works with those who are still using drugs, or have undiagnosed mental health issues.
He explains: “We never work with people in crisis, but we work with people who have those issues, because when people start doing something meaningful and making good use of their time, it gives them more of a reason to start dropping the drug use. We can support them at the same time.”
Providence Row are based in arguably one of the richest square miles in the world and they’re not shy about tapping local industry. The charity currently works with Rothschild and recently provided a placement for one young woman in a five-star hotel. She has since got a job at Pret à Manger.
The charity has also started a bakery delivering bread, cakes and pastries around Brick Lane on a branded bike.
So far, 30 clients have been involved in the new service, helping with everything from set-up and business planning, to the design of the logo. And if Darren is anything to go by, Providence Row’s projects really work: “I feel more positive about myself,” he says.
“On many occasions, walking up and down the street, I say to people sleeping rough, ‘Do you know about this place called Providence Row?’ Sometimes I actually help them to get there, and then they get help themselves.”
If you, or someone you know, could benefit from Providence Row’s services, visit www.providencerow.org.uk or call 020 7375 0020.
An award-winning Birmingham charity which provides services to many of the city’s rough sleepers has been saved by closure by an 11th hour grant... but will forced to cut its weekend opening hours.
SIFA Fireside, along with 28 other organisations across Birmingham, was dealt a hammer blow when it lost its funding to deliver outreach drug and alcohol services. The city-wide contract has been given to the Crime Reduction Unit (CRI), who deliver similar services across the UK.
The previous contact made up almost half of the charity’s funding, leaving their future hanging in the balance. They have now secured a smaller grant from the council’s public health fund, but drop-ins will only run Monday to Friday from March.
Cath Gilvery, chief executive of SIFA Fireside, said: “Before we received this grant, it seemed as if we would have to close at the end of February. Thankfully that is not the case, but we have been in quite a state of uncertainty for several months.”
She said she was extremely sorry to lose the weekend drop-in. “It feels very important,” she added. “It’s somewhere people can come and get a shower, a cup of tea and a friendly chat. That can make all the difference.”
Work is due to start next month on a £3,016,000 refurbishment and modernisation of Birmingham’s three homeless centres.
The year-long project, first announced last year, includes the replacement of kitchens and bathrooms, floor tiles and carpets, and boilers.
Birmingham City Council press officer Debbie Harrison declined to name the three centres as Bournville, Nechells and Acocks Green, but assured The Pavement that alternative accommodation had been found for current hostel residents to live in.
We’ll keep you posted.