Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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April - May 2022 : Connection 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

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Staying connected
Whether it's primitive people grunting over a wild boar dinner around a campfire thousands of years ago, the Greek philosophers pontificating furiously over the human condition or the remaining remote African villagers discussing social issues with their tribal leader, one of the human being’s central needs is to...
On the ward
Part I The numbers worked insistently to define and describe new, unique meanings. My glance detected patterns and sequences that glowed with an intense relevance that sometimes shifted, gradually outlining a malevolent intent. The windows of the ward were windows that could not be opened. The Spring was...
Time to end homelessness
Downing Street holds a press conference. Reporters are astonished by the latest...
Hope springs
Opportunities? Very important and always come and go. In my case, homelessness...
My life has been a storm
At the age of 26 I landed in a psychiatric hospital because...
Crisis at Xmas
I remember when I was on the streets, Crisis at Xmas provided...


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 April 2022

Pen pals

Amnesty International has accused Camden Council of a breach of human rights in its treatment of people sleeping rough. The human rights charity joined with Liberty, another human rights organisation, to write a letter condemning numerous “reported incidents of harassment towards rough sleepers,” and voice their shared concern of an “ever-growing hostile environment across Camden for those sleeping rough.” The reported incidents of harassment, which include council officers taking the luggage of people sleeping rough and photographing them without consent, would break Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. In its February story, the Camden New Journal noted how rare it is for Amnesty to directly address and criticise a local authority.

Model planning

New modular homes are springing up across the country, with a project in Peckham, London set to open in May 2022. Southwark News reports the 33 self-contained 21 metresquared studio flats will house young people who will pay a third of their income in rent – demonstrating a financially viable rent for the occupants. A spokesperson for charity Centerpoint’s Independent Living Programme said the project will free up much-needed hostel space, whilst also “tackling the shortage of quality affordable accommodation head-on.”

Displace disgrace

Hundreds of families in Nigeria have been made homeless overnight as government clearances, led by a fleet of bulldozers supervised by the military, police and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, destroyed whole villages in the Diobu area of Urualla, Port Harcourt. The clearances started in late January, and have destroyed eight communities in the city so far, with three more neighbourhoods set to be cleared. The eight destroyed communities are home to an estimated 15,000 families. The government claim the clearances are part of an effort to “sanitise the waterfronts” of the southern Nigerian city. The now-displaced people that had been living in these communities, meanwhile, say they were given just seven days notice before the demolitions. “We are refugees in our own state,” said Diobu resident Mary Prince. The Guardian further reports that residents were offered neither consultation or compensation, as is required by law.

Homes alone

The latest figures, revealed in November 2021, show there are 238,306 homes in England classed as long-term empty homes. An empty home is classed as long-term if it has been vacant for at least six months. The number of empty homes is rising, by a staggering 20% in the five years from November 2016. The Action on Empty Homes Nobody Home report, published in September of last year, went further, revealing one in three homes in London’s financial centre are empty. Many of these properties will be left vacant to appreciate in value on the housing market.

Late news

Liverpool City Council has missed a deadline to propose a suitable building for a homeless shelter. It means it will lose more than £4m that had been pledged for the scheme by the government. The city’s previous year-round shelter had been closed during the pandemic. The money had been planned to be used alongside £6.393m of council funding for 60 en-suite bedrooms and 40 one bed apartments to support short-term homeless recovery. Cabinet member for adult health and social care, Frazer Lake, said that the withdrawal of the funding was a “bitterly disappointing blow”. Work with other projects is on-going, according to the Liverpool Echo.


A cut above

Hats off to Danny White Howe, a barber in Glasgow who devotes his Friday nights to offering his services for free to the city’s homeless population. While learning to cut hair, White Howe spent time volunteering at the Lodging Housing Mission in Gallowgate. He told the BBC he grew up with "a really nice background" and wants to help people less fortunate than he has been.

Homes reborn

Long-term empty homes in Glasgow are being repurposed and renovated to meet growing demand for housing. Rather than allow empty homes to degrade and fall into disrepair, Glasgow City Council has created an Empty Homes Strategy, designed to bring empty homes back into productive use. Since 2019, 607 homes which had been empty for at least six months are now in productive use. Scottish Housing News reports one of the express aims of the Empty Homes Strategy is to identify empty homes that can be repurposed as suitable accommodation for people experiencing homelessness.  

NEWS IN BRIEF 136: Feb-Mar 2022

01 February 2022
Driving for Change: 2 repurposed London buses offering free access to GPs, dentists, hairdressers and therapists, as well as digital and financial literacy training, help with opening a bank account, employment support, shower facilities and essential items. Driving for Change: 2 repurposed London buses offering free access to GPs, dentists, hairdressers and therapists, as well as digital and financial literacy training, help with opening a bank account, employment support, shower facilities and essential items.

London buses: You wait seemingly a lifetime for an innovative project to deck one out with an array of services for homeless people to access, and then two come along at once! The Change Please Foundation launched its Driving for Change initiative late last year, repurposing two London buses as an “all-in-one direct intervention service”. The buses offer free access to GPs, dentists, hairdressers and therapists, as well as digital and financial literacy training, help with opening a bank account, employment support, shower facilities and essential items. Driving for Change and other similar projects run by the Change Please Foundation are in part funded by proceeds from Change Please coffee, which pours 100% of its profits into financing charitable activities. According to the BBC the project is secured for at least two years.

Scoops and hoops

An investigation by the Independent has revealed that hundreds of homeless people in England are being instructed by councils to sleep rough on the streets before they can access housing support. The investigation detailed how people presenting themselves as homeless to their local council are routinely turned away, being told they must stay on the streets to be picked up by an outreach team. In many cases official guidance states people asking for accommodation from their local council must verify they have been sleeping rough, if they cannot they are turned out on to the street and advised to seek an outreach team. Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, told the Independent, “it is beyond belief that people facing the horror and danger of sleeping rough are only classified as being street homeless if they are bedded down outside at night.”

Cash jab

In early January the government confirmed plans to offer people sleeping rough in England cash and food voucher incentives to get the Covid-19 vaccine. According to the Guardian, Eddie Hughes, minister for rough sleeping, has informed councils they are welcome to use part of the government’s £28m protect and vaccinate scheme to promote and reward vaccine uptake. Covid-19 has hit homeless people particularly hard, with one in 50 deaths among people experiencing homelessness related to Covid-19 in 2020, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Micro home 2.0

Cornwall Council has purchased 29 self-contained micro homes for people experiencing homelessness. The one-bedroom SoloHaus units were bought from Essex-based The Hill Group, and will replace cabin style units the council had been renting to house homeless people. The homes will be deployed to various locations in Cornwall over the next couple of months, according to Cornwall Live.

For more information visit

Bedding down

London-based charity Glass Door fears beds for people experiencing homelessness in the capital could be down by half on pre-pandemic levels. As readers will know, many charities and shelters have been forced to close communal night shelters this winter, as Covid-19, and in particular the Omicron variant of the virus, has spread. Glass Doors’ communal night shelters were themselves closed over the Christmas period, and the charity told Big Issue its available bed space was down to 56 this winter, while prepandemic it could shelter 170 guests.

  • Find information on shelters and other vital services in the List in the centre pages

Key worker

Nikki Campbell, a theatre recovery nurse working at Royal Liverpool Hospital, found herself homeless two days before Christmas, after a family relationship breakdown. She spent Christmas Day in a borrowed car with her two dogs, not wanting to “bother” her friends. She was told that she was not a priority case by Liverpool Council, which left her worrying that she may have to give up her dogs in order to work her shifts and find stable housing. Thankfully, her story in the Liverpool Echo caught the attention of Sacha Lord, a local businessman, who was appalled to hear of her situation. In order to help Nikki secure permanent housing, he gave her £5,000 towards paying rent in advance.

Debt collectors

Homeless families in Scotland owe £33.3m to 29 councils, a report by Glasgow’s Legal Services Agency (LSA) has found. The LSA say this debt has been levelled against 29,641 households, and goes towards the cost of being rehoused. The news, revealed in the Sunday Mail on 9 January, sparked widespread outrage. Campaigners have called for the debt to be forgiven, but so far only Fife council has ruled out pursuing the debt. LSA’s report found much of the emergency housing was in poor condition, and the report also revealed some homeless tenants have been billed for food, electricity, gas and administration fees. LSA is asking for the law in Scotland to be changed following the shocking revelations of its report. The Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 allows councils to charge homeless people for emergency accommodation.

New high (new low)

In late November 2021, the National Records of Scotland (NRS) released figures for people who had died homeless in 2020. There were 256 people who died while experiencing homelessness in 2020, according to the NRS, an increase of 40 on the previous year. The NRS’s data reveals 59% of homeless deaths in Scotland in 2020 were drug-related, while most of those who died (77%) were male (197 deaths). The figures were compiled by examining death registration records to find people who were sleeping rough or staying in temporary accommodation when they died, according to the BBC. Already dispiritingly high, the NRS stressed that the figures were an estimate, and the true number of people who had died experiencing homelessness was likely higher.

On the doorstep

Charity Homeless Project Scotland (HPS) have chastised Glasgow City Council for its apparent inaction on people sleeping rough in sub-zero temperatures this winter. HPS chairperson Colin McInnes called the council out after spotting a person sleeping rough on the doorstep of the council’s salubrious Glasgow City Chambers HQ. McInnes spotted the person in early January while out with the charity’s street team close to midnight. Calling the situation “disgraceful”, McInnes told Glasgow Live the person sleeping rough “had chosen the City Chambers to get that wee trickle of heat coming from underneath the door. It was freezing, the wind would have cut your hands off.”

Displaced space

Homeless charity Glasgow City Mission (GCM) face being moved from its purpose-built complex in Crimea Street, Glasgow, to make way for an office development. GCM only moved into its Clydeside home in 2009, but the site now risks demolition as part of a development project by developers Soller Group. According to the Daily Record, any purchase of the GCM building would be part of phase two of the Soller Group development. The first phase will see a 14-storey office space built in Carrick Square, with construction due to start in spring 2022. 

NEWS IN BRIEF 135: Dec 2021-Jan 2022

01 December 2021
A portrait display at the Secret Museum © Museum of Homelessness A portrait display at the Secret Museum © Museum of Homelessness

Congratulations to all involved in the Secret Museum, a temporary museum run by the Museum of Homelessness (MoH) in London from 27 October to 7 November. The show brought together numerous true stories from the pandemic-stricken homeless community. Starting with a walking tour, which took in some of the local history of London’s South Bank and Waterloo area, including the old Bullring (now a massive Imax cinema), which was home to a large community of homeless people in the 80s and 90s. Attendees gradually worked their way to the Secret Museum itself. Here visitors were provided a stark reminder of the difficulties people have endured this last couple of years. These were stories from the front line, with MoH a core member of the Covid-19 homeless taskforce, set up to provide support to homeless people in the pandemic. 

  • To learn more about the work of MoH and find out what they have planned next, please visit their website here:

Reshuffle kerfuffle

So, farewell Robert Jenrick, and welcome Michael Gove. Like a mad game of musical chairs, only with far greater consequences, the cabinet reshuffle saw numerous minsters rotating roles in government. Gove replaces Jenrick as secretary of state at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. Gove started his new role in September and is tasked with creating a strategy to deliver the government’s target of eradicating rough sleeping altogether.

Fresh start

According to industry website British Baker, the food chain Greggs has launched a partnership with Only a Pavement Away, a charity that helps connect people facing homelessness with jobs within the hospitality industry. Roisin Currie, Greggs’ People and Retail Director, said this partnership will help them “further support people facing homelessness,” by providing a “fresh start” to those who need it. Only a Pavement Away aims to create more than 700 jobs for those with insecure housing by 2024.

  • Visit the Only a Pavement Away website for information about this scheme and similar ones at:

Quiz master

Many will know Jay Flynn, who during lockdown became an internet sensation through hosting virtual pub quizzes – which attracted more than half a million participants and raised more than £1m for charity. However, his life was very different in 2012. After a job loss and relationship breakdown, Flynn found himself on a bench in South Bank. For two years, he struggled to access the help he needed. This was before The Connection at St Martin-in-theFields came to his aid, helping, Flynn says, to rebuild him from “a shell of a person.” In October, the Lancashire Times reported he ran the London Marathon in aid of The Connection, running past the bench he used to sleep on.

  • Find information about The Connection at St Martin-in-theFields and other services in the List (pages A-P in the magazine, available to download)

Food for thought

Khaled Wakkaa fled the Syrian civil war in 2013. Before securing asylum in the UK in 2017, he and his family struggled. His wife fell seriously ill and with no funds to support themselves, she was denied entry to a Lebanese hospital. Thanks to donations from strangers she was able to access healthcare. Khaled said that this experience, alongside other caring strangers that helped him on his journey to the UK, has compelled him to repay this action, by engaging in voluntary work. Wakkaa spends most of his Sundays distributing home-cooked Syrian vegetarian meals to homeless people in Exeter city centre. “I understand what it’s like to be hungry,” he told the Guardian in October. Wakkaa now dreams of opening a Syrian street food van. With help from his local community in the UK, he is now accessing the training to turn his dream into a reality.

Token gesture...

Following the death of Billy Abernethy-Hope, his family launched ‘Billy Chips’, a new scheme aimed at tackling homelessness and food poverty. Being an ambulance driver, Billy worked with many vulnerable and homeless people. Before his death, Billy told his family about his idea to create a token that could be given to someone who is homeless, instead of money, which they could then exchange in cafes and shops for food and drinks. Following his death, his older sister decided to bring his plan to fruition. The Times reports the scheme has had immediate success, having spread from Bristol to the neighbouring cities of Bath and Oxford.

Centene update

The latest on issue 132’s news story about a US health insurance firm’s efforts to take over numerous UK-based services. The Centene Corporation took over 49 privately run GP surgeries in 2021, also taking on NHS-funded contracts including the Camden Health Improvement Practice for homeless patients. Courts will now examine whether the acquisition of these GP services was lawful. Islington councillor Anjna Khurana has – with the support of doctors, academics and campaigners – demanded a judicial review of the deal, and lawyers representing her confirmed to Private Eye the courts will now consider “the serious and widespread public concerns” over the deal.

Foul play

As the football season approaches its festive fixture pile-up in December, Premier League clubs in England’s top division hoped to raise funds for the homeless charity Shelter by having ‘home’ clubs play in their away strips. The unused home shirts were to be signed by players and then auctioned off, Sky Sports reported in November. Alas, the fundraising scheme was refused almost immediately by the Premier League. The league released a statement explaining the request would contravene its rules on supporting charities “centrally”. 

SCOTLAND - News in brief

COP and coppers: More on the COP26 climate change summit held in Glasgow in late October to early November. Metro reported in November that police working the summit donated their surplus food to Homeless Project Scotland, a charity that runs soup kitchens in the city. The outdoor kitchens were feeding up to 1,300 people every night during the summit. Colin McInnes, the charity’s chairman and founder, told Metro: “Delegates [invited to COP26] are walking by the soup kitchen all the time as it’s on the way to the train station. It’s horrifying that none of them want to pop by and say hello.”

Spiky decision

Anti-homeless architecture is prospering in Edinburgh. Issue 132 of the Pavement detailed plans to install rails at the National Records of Scotland’s West Register House building in Charlotte Square. In late October Edinburgh Council approved the plans, which include installing spiky railings to deter rough sleeping and “anti-social behaviour”, according to The Scotsman. The spiky rails will be placed by the entrance to the building.


Everyone Home, a collective of homeless charities and organisations, and academic sector organisations, have welcomed plans to introduce a National Care Service in Scotland. The Scottish Government held a consultation period ending in early November. The Everyone Home organisations, facilitated by Homeless Network Scotland, consulted more than 200 members and interested parties. This research contributed to the Everyone Home position that a National Care Service should be “People led, Home centred, Preventative, Rights based, Destigmatising, Fairer and Improving.” Everyone Home also stated the National Care Service should put in place “care and support to prevent homelessness,” and include “new legal duties on public bodies.”

COP giveth and taketh

Alas, the police can’t score a positive PR goal without going up the other end and netting a howler of an owngoal while they’re at it. So it proved when London's Metropolitan Police and South Wales Police, drafted in to provide extra police presence in Glasgow during COP26, attempted a raid on a squat run by activists. The police attempted to force entry into the Baile Hoose lodgings, but the raid was called off once Police Scotland officers arrived at the scene, the Daily Record understands. The Baile Hoose lodgings were used as squat accommodation during COP26 for people unable to afford accommodation in the city during the summit.