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
Our fab fundraiser on 11 September will sell out quickly, so get your tickets now! Top comedians Stewart Lee and Robin Ince will be joined by the magnificent cabaret star Barb Jungr and the musical comedy talents of Read-Wilson and Hughes.
Attention Scottish readers!! Would you like to help a former rough sleeper (and earn £50) by recording stories of your life for a touring art project. Check out Bekki's website and the flyer, and contact her if you're interested.
Download PDF (1.11MB)
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.
Will you use your admin ninja skills to help a unique small charity working to support homeless people?
Download PDF (141KB)
Do you want to use your fundraising skills to support a unique small charity working to support homeless people?
Download PDF (146KB)
Will you donate your a journalism or photography skills to help the homeless people we work to support?
Download PDF (146KB)
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!
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.
It has been supporting vulnerable young people in South London for 19 years, but now Look Ahead’s Gateway Foyer is due to close after Southwark Council decommissioned the service.
The 116-bed hostel currently houses 94 young people aged between 16 and 25, each referred for varying reasons such as leaving care, rough sleeping and family breakdown.
In preparation for the closure, Gateway Foyer has stopped accepting referrals and Look Ahead says it is working with the council and others to ensure all residents are resettled into “alternative, appropriate accommodation” by 30 September 2015.
For some residents, like Seth, the future looks bright. “Right now me and some friends are looking for a place to stay – I’m working and I can afford it,” he says. But he’s not sure how his peers will fare. “I know the staff are obviously doing their best... but there are a lot of residents, so I don’t know. Some will probably end up going back home.”
One resident who is worried is Abdusalam, who has been at the Foyer for three years. He arrived in the UK some five years ago but is struggling to move on due to housing offers falling through and other services refusing to accept him because of a lack of local connection. “They say ‘Where you been before? Ok, you have to go there.’ They should look after me, this hostel, but they don’t care... I don’t know what can I do now. What can I do? I haven't got any family. I haven’t got any friends.”
Although more optimistic that the staff are doing their best to rehouse everyone, fellow resident Mohamed is worried about wider cuts to services, following chancellor George Osborne’s £30 billion austerity plans: “That’s going to make it harder for them [Gateway Foyer] to actually place us... I am scared of getting kicked out maybe too far from London, because I know they are trying to push people out.”
So why is the service closing anyway? Look Ahead says: “Look Ahead and Southwark Council have been in extensive discussions over the past several months in regards to the reducing demand within Southwark for the 116 units of accommodation, and the desire on behalf of both organisations to move towards a smaller, more specialist provision for young people.”
The Pavement asked Southwark Council what other provision the borough has in place for young people. It highlighted four supported housing schemes for young people aged 16–25 and a new supported housing scheme in the borough for care leavers aged 16–18. “A new scheme has also been developed which offers pre-tenancy training and is available to young people who are moving into their own council tenancies,” explained media officer Asha Budhu. “Other schemes available include: ‘Staying Put’ and floating support for young people who are in their own tenancies.”
Ms Budhu also cited plans to offer more varied accommodation for those over 16, with an emphasis upon commissioning “smaller, personalised provision meeting individual need”. We asked the council for more specific details on these new services but have not yet received this information.
We also asked whether Southwark Council would accept a duty to house all the young people at Gateway Foyer (whether or not they have a local connection)? And, if not, would some of the young people have to leave the borough? The response: “No, Southwark Council will absolutely fulfil its duty to our young people at Gateway Foyer. We will be working with other referring agencies and local authorities as required to ensure that non-Southwark people are offered appropriate support and opportunities by their host authority or referring agency.” Which suggests that ‘non-Southwark’ residents (about half of the current residents were referred in from outside the borough) could indeed find themselves relocated.
Savvas Panas, CEO of The Pilion Trust, has already noticed some of the residents being told to return to their original referrers – including The Pilion Trust’s own shelter, The Crashpad. “I rang and I said ‘You cannot be serious. Some of these kids we haven’t seen in over two years, why would they come back to us? We were crisis intervention... you must have a responsibility to rehouse as part of your contract. It’s a supportive housing scheme, you cannot be throwing them out’.”
It’s not just a safe place to stay that residents will lose, adds Mr Panas. “Gateway Foyer is a lovely project; it’s housing, with training attached, so you can only get into it if you’re prepared to go through education, apprenticeships, training… And as soon as you get your qualification, you’ll move on.” So with the closure, residents could find their training cut short. “One of our girls went for an interview at Centrepoint Southwark and they’re not prepared to recognise and transfer across the amount of time she stayed at the Gateway. They’re going ‘No, you’ll come here and start again’. So if she says no to that, and they’re saying that’s a viable offer, she’ll make herself intentionally homeless. Where in reality it isn’t a viable offer.”
Coming in conjunction with the benefit cuts for under, Mr Panas – like many – is worried at the decreasing provision for young homeless people. “The vulnerable, without families, out of care, facing abuse and sexual abuse, where is that group of young people that we work with going to go?”
The Greek government plans to provide mobile showers and laundries, as well as specialist staff, to help homeless people in Athens.
Minister for Social Solidarity Theano Fotiou revealed the plans in a response to a question in Parliament. She said there are also plans to create more shelters for homeless people in Athens, as welfare services have 240 buildings that are not being used.
Citing a University of Crete study, Fotiou said there are roughly 17,700 homeless people in Attica.
The government received some 90,000 applications for rent subsidies of between 70 and 220 euros per month under the “humanitarian crisis” law passed earlier this year. Another 210,000 applications had been received for meal coupons and free electricity since the scheme was launched in April.
A new French law forces supermarkets to donate unsold food to charities or for animal feed, instead of throwing it away or destroying it.
Supermarkets with a footprint of 4,305 sq ft or more will have to sign contracts with charities by July next year or face penalties including fines of up to €75,000 (£53,000) or 2 years in jail.
The French law goes further than the UK, where the government has a voluntary agreement with the grocery and retail sector to cut both food and packaging waste in the supply chain, but does not believe in mandatory targets.
A report earlier this year showed that in the UK, households threw away 7m tonnes of food in 2012, enough to fill London’s Wembley stadium nine times over. Avoidable household food waste in the UK is associated with 17m tonnes of CO2 emissions annually.