Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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December 2023 – January 2024 : Next steps READ ONLINE

the Pavement

the Pavement 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
Ollie the twitterrific bird appears courtesy of


Those next human steps
There are really very few themes more relevant to those of us who have had to recover from the experience of homelessness than this issue’s theme ‘Next steps’. For anyone who has had to piece their life back together in the wake of the anxiety-inducing chaos caused by living...
Baby steps
As we come crashing towards the end of 2023, we reflect, review and re-focus on goals we set way back in January in this here, a capitalist society motivated by profits and status progression.Should we be harsh on ourselves and discern if we’ve succeeded or not?I mean, the...
Simon's 60th
In the 1960s Anton Wallich-Clifford, an ex-probation officer, believed there was a...
Taking the next step
As ever, the end of one year and start of a new...
Hot Arse FC
Waiting for another Temporal Assignment adventure, McHaggis meets Snodgrass, a Time Criminal:...
Being kind
It’s hard to be kind. For kindness to inform your daily personal...


Streets Kitchen offers FOOD DAILY in various London locations.
Mostly evenings (plus the Sunday dinner project, Camden)

Want to talk?
Mind, a mental health charity or 0300 123 3393
 To discuss your mental health over message,
text “SHOUT” for free to 85258

NEWS about coronavirus COVID19
Useful protocol guidance from
Housing Justice:
07 March 2018
Our team of peer journalists from the 'From the Ground Up' project talk about perceptions of homelessness.
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?

23 June 2015

Do you want to use your fundraising skills to support a unique small charity working to support homeless people?

23 June 2015

Will you donate your a journalism or photography skills to help the homeless people we work to support?

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. 


01 December 2023

On a mid-November evening, representatives from Camden Council attended a meeting set up by Streets Kitchen and chaired by the Camden New Journal. The meeting took place after the disturbing video of people sleeping rough outside University College London Hospital (UCLH) having their tents and belongings crushed by contractors had gone viral on social media a week earlier. Some of those whose belongings were callously crushed were in attendance at the meeting, held at St Michael’s Church, Camden.

Planned before the incident, the aim of the evening was not to harangue Camden council for its handling of the situation. But it became a focus and attendees were keen to find ways to move forward and learn from the events of the previous week. Among the proposed ways to learn from the episode was to schedule regular meetings with community stakeholders, such as Streets Kitchen, and the council. There was also talk of improving Routes off the Streets, the council-funded outreach service commissioned to “end street homelessness”. 

Nobody representing Routes off the Streets or UCLH attended the meeting. Further, the council’s social housing stock and the number of empty houses sitting unused was spoken about at length.

Amid the hope, there was some despair. Council members attending the meeting were seemingly unaware of a pattern of similar incidents occurring in the borough over the past few years. Camden Council's chief executive assured the crowd that the previous week's horror was "so not Camden".

Except it was, and it has been innumerable times in the past.

Speaking to the Pavement, a Streets Kitchen spokesperson said: “Last week we merely captured on film what we [Streets Kitchen] witness on a regular basis. All those responsible must be made accountable and we must all ensure this never happens again anywhere.”

So, what happens next? No official announcements were made on the night, but there is a clear demand for these meetings to be held regularly, and for Camden council to begin cooperating with grassroots organisations on caring for people sleeping rough.

News in Brief 147: Dec 2023 – Jan 2024

01 December 2023


Suella Braverman really must reconsider her lifestyle choices. Stoking division and hate has led to her losing her job. In a cabinet reshuffle in mid-November, Suella was removed as Home Secretary. It’s unclear where next she plans to pitch her tent.

Home wrecking

Rough sleepers were left scared and appalled after their tents were destroyed in Camden, London in November. The Big Issue reports the tents were destroyed following a request by University College London Hospital (UCLH), where the tents had been set up close to a side entrance. A video taken by Street Kitchen went viral on social media, leading to a hurried statement from Camden Council promising an investigation into the matter. Streets Kitchen accused officials of “dropping the ball legally, morally and publicly.” Since the footage was released, Street Kitchen has received an uptake in donations, which it has put towards replacing the tents and any personal belongings that were lost.

Art news: Congratulations to Dave Sohanpal, who has co-curated an installation for the London College of Fashion’s (LCF) Designed for Life exhibition. Sohanpal is an Accumulate graduate and has also worked with the Drummond Street Artists. Accumulate is an art school for homeless people, while Drummond Street Artists is an artist collective for people affected by homelessness and mental health problems. Designed for Life is a free exhibition open until 19 January 2024 at LCF’s Stratford, east London campus. Sohanpal has co-curated an interactive living room installation, Nana’s House, telling the story of a woman’s journey from Nigeria to Leytonstone. Picture © Jack Elliot Edwards
– Visit the exhibition web page for more information, including address and opening times:

New high (new low)

According to Citizens Advice data, a record number of people in England are seeking homelessness support. The charitable organisation helped more than 8,000 people with homelessness issues in October, the highest monthly figure it has ever recorded. Sky News reports more than 2,000 private renters approached Citizens Advice that same month after being served Section 21 no-fault eviction notices, also a record-high. Citizens Advice is calling for an immediate increase in Local Housing Allowance, which has been frozen since 2020.

Quarterly count

Between July and September 2023, 4,068 people were found to be sleeping on the streets by outreach teams in London. This represents the highest quarterly figure of people counted rough sleeping in the capital since records began. It is a 12% increase on the same period in 2022 and more than half the people counted in the 2023 figure were sleeping rough for the first time. Analysis by Alma Economics, commissioned by the cross-party group London Councils, found almost 60,000 London renters could be pushed into homelessness by 2030.

Football friends: The Salvation Army’s 12th annual Partnership Trophy was held in Manchester in late September, featuring 28 five-a-side football teams from Salvation Army homelessness services across the UK. Each team was made up of people from Lifehouses (supported accommodation), outreach programmes and Salvation Army Housing Association (SAHA) services. The Salvation Army’s Cardiff-based Ty Gobaith Lifehouse lifted the trophy, presented by England legend Peter Shilton, with current England star John Stones also in attendance. Malcolm Page, assistant director of the Homelessness Services Department for The Salvation Army, said: “The Partnership Trophy is a great opportunity to celebrate everyone within our homelessness services”. Picture © Peter Powell Photography

Finding a way

In its first year of operation, Fair Way Scotland, the charity set up to support migrants facing homelessness, supported 1,205 people, through housing, advice and cash packages. Fair Way Scotland helps people who are locked out of accessing essential support because of the UK’s punitive immigration policies.  Many migrants, including asylum seekers and EU nationals are excluded from receiving state support because of their immigration status. Fair Way Scotland was set up to mitigate the devastating effects of UK immigration policy and has services in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow. Responding to Fair Way Scotland’s figures, Sabir Zazai, CEO of Scottish Refugee Council, told STV News: “Safe housing and legal advice is more important than ever as the UK government continues to pursue hostile policies and deny people their basic human rights.”

Paws for thought

A 20-year-old cat that had recently been made homeless was looking for new owners in October. LV was being cared for by the Cats Protection Adoption Centre (CPAC), having been left homeless in Glasgow. CPAC say LV looks young for her age, which equates to being roughly 96 years old in cat years.

Crisis incoming

The Home Office has been criticised by Glasgow City Council (GCC), which has warned of an impending “humanitarian crisis” of homelessness among refugees. GCC highlights that the Home Office is planning to bulk-process asylum applications, while simultaneously closing accommodation for asylum seekers. Glasgow officials predict that about 1,800 applications will be given refugee status, estimating 1,400 of them will become homeless owing to a lack of suitable accommodation. Susan Aitken, the leader of Glasgow city council, told the Guardian: “We are prepared to work with the Home Office to help them approach cases in Glasgow in a planned and structured way, if they provide us with the resources.”

Picture perfect:
Cafe Art, in collaboration with MyWorld and Pehchan, launched the MyMumbai project in September. The project is similar to Cafe Art’s MyLondon project. A total of 50 Fujifilm cameras were distributed to 50 people sleeping rough in Mumbai. Every single camera was returned, with 1,350 photos taken. Of these pictures, 33 were placed under consideration to be featured in the MyMumbai 2024 calendar, which will feature 13 photos, in November. A crowdfunder for the calendar was set to be launched in late 2023. Picture © Vishnu Rajput, Pehchan

Law breakers

The City of Edinburgh council has breached legislation preventing homeless people from being placed in unsuitable temporary accommodation a staggering 2,200 times over the past year and a half. The Herald revealed in early November that the council placed people experiencing homelessness in unfit temporary housing 772 times in the first six months of 2023.

Tipping point

Ewan Aitken, CEO of Cyrenians Scotland, believes Edinburgh is approaching a “tipping point” in its housing emergency. The Daily Record reported in November that Edinburgh City Council had voted to declare a housing emergency, with other councils likely to follow suit. Aitken said he hoped the announcement would lead to “funding being directed to housing and land being made available to build new homes.” The Daily Record had earlier reported on councils’ over-reliance on unsuitable temporary accommodation and increased levels of rough sleeping in the capital.

Success story

Last year Andrew (not his real name) was one of the many guests at Glasgow City Mission’s (GCM) Overnight Welcome Centre (OWC), a winter shelter for people experiencing homelessness. While staying at the OWC, Andrew received support from GCM’s dedicated Housing Settlement Officers, staff supporting guests into settled accommodation. With their help, Andrew now has a home of his own. This winter’s OWC is open from 1 December to 31 March. Find out more about the OWC here:

News in Brief 146: Oct – Nov 2023

01 October 2023

Europe update

New research by FEANTSA, the Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless, reveals that almost one million people are homeless on any given night in Europe, equivalent to the population of Newcastle. Importantly, this figure only accounts for the visible forms of homelessness, meaning the total number of people experiencing homelessness is likely to be much higher. Ireland has a comparatively high rate of homelessness, as compared with countries like Spain, Finland, Denmark and Poland. Despite pledges across EU member states to reduce homelessness by 2030, only Finland and Denmark have made recognisable progress, with many other countries' homelessness figures growing. Indeed, the number of people seeking accommodation services in Ireland has risen by 40% in two years, demonstrating Ireland's inefficient and dysfunctional housing market. 

Park life: The annual Streets Fest was held in Finsbury Park, London, in early September. The event brings outreach teams, homeless charities and organisations together, with visitors invited to learn more and connect with services. Streets Fest is organised by Streets Kitchen, Haringey Council and Islington Council, with support from a number of local services. If you didn’t make it to this year’s event, keep an eye on the Streets Kitchen instagram,
@streetskitchen, for information on Streets Fest 2024. Image © the Pavement

New asylum policies

The Home Office has released a new policy, a reduction of the “move on” period given to asylum seekers to find somewhere to live before being removed from their accommodation, making asylum seekers homeless. These changes mean that asylum seekers now have as little as a week to find accommodation after their claim is accepted. A support worker with Merseyside Refugee Support Network said that he hadn’t seen this level of demand during his 13 years of working within this line of work, highlighting the drastic pressure this new policy is putting on the refugee services. It is also set to put a strain on all wider services, including healthcare. In reaction to these changes, the Refugee Council organised an open letter, signed by 140 homeless and refugee organisations, calling on the Home Office to reverse these new policy changes to allow people more time to get on their feet.

Kip on the Kop

People were invited to stay the night at Liverpool FC’s Anfield stadium in early September, to raise funds for the LFC Foundation’s work with homeless people. Similar to other ‘sleep out’ events, people brought a sleeping bag and set fundraising targets, with the money going to the LFC Foundation’s Global Works project. Global Works runs sports-based employability sessions and mentoring for young people with experience of homelessness. The project also runs Liverpool Homeless FC, a 5-a-side football team for people affected by homelessness in the city.

Records, system broken

Official figures published by the Scottish government show there were 9,595 children homeless and living in temporary accommodation in Scotland, as of March 2023. It is a miserable record broken, representing the highest number of children experiencing homelessness since records began in 2002. Meanwhile, the total number of open homelessness cases increased by 15% from 2021-22 to 29,652. The trend continued with increases in homelessness applications and households reported rough sleeping. In better news, cost of living legislation introduced in October 2022 contributed to a decrease in households being made homeless from private rented accommodation.

Picture perfect:
The previous issue of the Pavement featured a story on the process to select pictures for the upcoming My London 2024 calendar. The selection process is now complete, with the 2024 calendar available for pre-order. A panel including past participants in the Cafe Art project was tasked with choosing 25 photos from more than 2,000 submitted for consideration. These 25 pictures were then put to the public, who voted for the winners.
Learn more about Cafe Art and its My London project on its website here:
Image © Paul Ryan

No room

A Glasgow Times investigation found homeless people in the city are being turned away by the council and left to sleep rough. The council has a statutory duty to provide accommodation to people who approach the council as homeless, but on at least four nights in late August there were no available rooms. The Glasgow Times spoke to a homeless man who slept rough for four nights in a row. Speaking to the paper in late August, he said: “Last night I just walked around the city. I’m shattered and my legs are killing me.” Alan Hamilton, operations manager at Homeless Project Scotland, commented the lack of accommodation “is a breach of the homelessness legislation and it is not acceptable.”

Bad to worse

As councils across Scotland desperately search for suitable accommodation for homeless people, a residential unit for homeless people in Glasgow is set to close. Eskdale House has space for 40 men, but is slated for closure in early October. Campaigners fear there is no suitable accommodation for the residents of Eskdale House to move into, leaving more people homeless and faced with sleeping rough. Quoted in the Glasgow Evening Times, campaign co-ordinator for the Scottish Tenants Association, Sean Clerkin, argued “it is clear that the large cuts to homeless services is severely damaging to homeless people in the city and must be reversed with more monies being given to deal with the growing housing and homeless emergency in Glasgow.”

Student digs

Students in Edinburgh have been made homeless and forced to sofa-surf, amid an accommodation crisis in the city. Purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) rent stands at an average £230 per week in Edinburgh, according to STV News, with average monthly rents for students in the capital increasing by 30% since 2022. Meanwhile, the gap between demand and supply grows, with more students and fewer beds. Ellie Gomersall, president of the National Union of Students Scotland, has urged students facing homelessness to find support: “I would say to any student who is in that situation [having no accommodation] to reach out to your university, your college or student association.”

Uni days:
A fresh start for film director David Fussell, who was accepted on to a BA honours film degree at Falmouth University in September. Having previously slept rough on Tottenham Court Road for 10 years, he will now live in student halls. Quoted in Westminster Extra, Fussell credited the Salvation Army with helping him organise the paperwork and application required to join the course. To support his film-making and studies, Fussell is also selling My London calendars, a project he has previously had his own photography featured in (see a winning entry by Fussell above). Speaking to the Pavement, Fussell explained: “Four years working only on my film-making and learning the business from professionals is what I need.”

Progress made

Positive news from Midlothian, where council reliance on temporary accommodation has dropped significantly. The number of people placed in temporary accommodation by the council has fallen by nearly 50% in five years, dropping from 1,082 people on 31 March 2018 to 587 on 31 March 2023. In that five-year span, 129 households have had their temporary accommodations converted to permanent, secure housing. Furthermore, the introduction of the Housing First initiative in Midlothian has seen 57 homeless applicants progress to permanent homes, reports Scottish Housing News.

B&B Limbo

An Edinburgh mum and her five children have had to live in a hotel room for two months, relying on dry and kettle-based food. Edinburgh Live’s story detailed how the family had been awaiting a temporary home for 17 months, as of early September. Melanie, 40, has only spoken to her appointed housing officer with Edinburgh Council once in more than 18 months, and has been told the council can’t afford two hotel rooms for her family, leaving the family of six crammed into one Travelodge room.

Monitor musings

The Homelessness Monitor study, funded by Crisis, was released in late August. The study revealed that 290,000 eligible households sought help from local authorities on grounds of homelessness in 2021/22. A staggering 85% of councils across England reported an increase in people experiencing homelessness. The report goes into detail on councils’ struggle finding suitable accommodation, with an ever-dwindling supply of social housing stock affecting councils across the country. Commenting on the study’s findings, Matt Downie, chief executive at Crisis, said: “The alarm bells are ringing loud and clear. The Westminster Government must address the chronic lack of social housing and increase housing benefit, so it covers the true cost of rents.”