Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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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


Safe lives
Speaking with Scarlett Hanson about her work at Solace, which offers advice and support for women experiencing domestic violence, it is immediately obvious she’s in the right job. For anyone who has ever hit the bottom and decided to seek help from an outsider, you'll know what a...
Hostel help
Anyone who has spent time living in a large hostel will remember those daunting first few nights; getting used to the sounds, smells and personalities of the other people sharing the space. The realities can be harsh and difficult to adapt to. It’s hard enough to cope with...
Hostel Life
When I became homeless, I discovered that there are different types of...
Hostels: How was it?
MEET Richard: “There are different types. The charity sector ones, which mostly...
Empathy masterclass
The One Festival of Homeless Arts exhibits art from all over the...
My first Death Café
The only certainty in life is that we are all going to...


Journalist Meet Up ~ 2020
An opportunity for London-based pavement volunteers to get together and discuss ideas for future content for upcoming magazines.
Monday 16th June

Tuesday 7 Jan 6.30-7.30pm
Tuesday 4 Feb 6-7pm
Tuesday 3 Mar 6-7pm
Tuesday 7 Apr 6-7pm

Venue: Groundswell, St Matthews, Brixton, SW2 1JF (near Brixton tube)
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 November 2019

This poem was written by Peter Gregory and David Gough after their third time made homeless. The pair also write short stories inspired by their experiences. If you’d like to be published in the Pavement please send your ideas, words or photos to the editor, In our first 2020 issue we’re focusing on street food.
©Gregory & Gough

Shut eye:
We spend a third of our life asleep: where are you sleeping tonight? Outside? Inside? On cardboard? On a mat on the floor? Have you tried the night shelter camp beds? Is there a pillow? This picture was inspired by a story from our friends at the Museum of Homelessness during the Shock to the System event to mark World Homeless Day.

Priced out:
Hackney had the highest increase in property prices in the UK over the past 20 years – up by 472%. Last year the total cost of temporary accommodation in Hackney increased from £7.2 million to £9.3 million.

Starting Universal Credit?
For a short time, Citizens Advice Bureau will help anyone make an initial application for UC until they get their first payment writes Ian Kalman. This ends in April 2020. CAB is at some job centres for a few hours, so either check in your job centre or go to your nearest CAB.

Or you can try CAB’s Help to Claim phone line. England tel: 0800 144 8444, Scotland tel: 0800 023 2581.
Also see

Made my own:
Dean from the 999 Club in Deptford Broadway working on an upcycled chair created from an old wardrobe door with help from mentor Ellen Svenningsen. Dean’s finished chair went on show at the V&A for the London Design Festival’s final day in September to showcase design solutions to the climate crisis. Dean’s chair makes good use of waste products, gives him the skills to make furniture for temporary accommodation and pride knowing that it will be donated to the People’s Kitchen based at the Royal Docks.
©999 Club / V&A

Things I've learnt:
Connection at St Martin-in-the-Fields has set up a Living Library where instead of taking out a book, librarians introduce you to a real life person – with opinions. Then the two of you have a chat and share stories over a cup of tea. ©Connection

News in Brief 123: Nov-Dec 2019

01 November 2019

Grim record

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimates 726 homeless people died in England and Wales in 2018, the most in a single year on record. The grim figures represent a 22% rise on the number of deaths in 2017. This is also the biggest annual increase since data started being collected in 2013.

Drug related deaths increased by 55% from 2017 to 2018, by far the biggest increase among causes. Overall there were 294 deaths associated with drug abuse, with 131 of those attributed to opiate poisoning. In Birmingham 23 people died – this was the highest number of deaths recorded by a local authority.

Pavement says: Living on the streets can be fatal. With a million people on council house waiting lists where are the homes that people need? That’s why there’s a growing call for the Government to start house building again. In Scotland Housing First has just passed its first milestone (see p6). While TV presenter George Clarke – who fronted C4’s Council House Scandal - is campaigning for 100,000 new council houses to be built every year for the next 30 years. 
Sign the petition on:


Bad photo

Parliament has apologised to a group of people sleeping rough close to the Palace of Westminster in September, for taking individual photos of them while they were asleep. The photos were taken by a cleaning contractor employed by the parliamentary estate, according to the Guardian. A House of Commons spokesperson refused to explain why the pictures were being taken, although they did apologise for “any distress caused” adding that the practice “has been immediately stopped.”

Tooth care: November is Mouth Cancer Awareness Month. Visit a dentist if you have an ulcer that hasn’t healed after two weeks or you see a red/white patch in your mouth or you have pain/difficulty when swallowing.


Housing firsts

In Scotland, 120 previously homeless people have now been housed under the groundbreaking Housing First program begun in 2018 writes Jack Hanington. The pathfinder policy aims to provide stable housing as a first step, rather than a last step, in the process of overcoming homelessness. The Scottish Government, working with Social Bite, local authorities, third sector and housing providers, is trying to make Scotland the third country to attempt a nationwide roll out of the Housing First program. Currently it is run in Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Stirling. By 2021, Housing First aims to provide 830 people with their own home. 


No UC evictions

Living Rent, Scotland’s Tenants Union, is launching a new Glasgow city-wide campaign calling on Housing Associations (HAs) to halt evictions arising from Universal Credit (UC) writes Jack Hanington. Following the Tenants Union’s summer actions against Serco and Mears Group in solidarity with 300 eviction-threatened asylum seekers and refugees, Living Rent will organise across Glasgow to pressure HAs to commit to a No UC Evictions policy. Research from the National Housing Federation showed last year that nearly three-quarters (73%) of tenants on UC are in debt. In 2018/19, evictions of UC claimants from council houses in the UK reached an all-time high. 

Landlords' excuses

Readers of the Pavement will be all too familiar with the difficulties of accessing affordable housing. Our July/August 2019 issue noted Shelter’s report on the rift between councils and social landlords, who weren’t taking on homeless people as prospective tenants. Then in September the Chartered Institute of Housing released a report confirming that social landlords don’t want homeless people as tenants. The study reveals social landlords routinely exclude homeless people from accommodation due to fears over the reliability of universal credit, unmet support needs and a presumption that prospective tenants would find themselves in rent arrears.

New Hackney hostel

Dalston, London, is set to welcome a new hostel for homeless families. Blue Chip Trading Ltd and property developer Hezi Zakai have had plans for the purpose-built 292-room hostel approved and work will start imminently. The hostel looks set to house more than 600 people, and offer 24-hour security, as well as free wi-fi and a launderette. Rooms will come fitted with workstations too, according to the Hackney Citizen. The plan has its detractors, with some councillors arguing this is not ‘temporary’ accommodation as tenants may stay for years in housing not fit for permanent residence. Hackney council will manage the site once work is complete. 

News in brief 122 : September-October 2019

01 September 2019
Street preaching

The Conservative Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, has admonished his government’s homelessness policy. Street says the government has directly increased the number of people being made homeless, by freezing housing benefits. 

Vagrancy act

As the Pavement went to press, the Government was still reviewing the archaic, draconian Vagrancy Act of 1824. Woefully outdated and clearly unfit for purpose, successive governments had ignored the act, which makes it a criminal offence to sleep rough or beg in England and Wales. A campaign to repeal the act, supported by a group of charities headed by Crisis, has gained crossparty support among MPs and at the time of writing it was hopeful the law will soon be dumped.

Pension problem

A devastating report produced by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Housing and Care for the Elderly predicts the Pavement’s readership is set to skyrocket (although they didn’t report it quite like that). Rental Housing For An Ageing Population, predicts more than 600,000 members of the millennial generation in the UK (people born in the early 1980s to mid 1990s) will struggle to avoid homelessness when they become pensioners.

Shock increase

In late June the Combined Homelessness and Information Network (CHAIN) released its annual report 2018–19 on rough sleeping in London revealing a jump of 24% on last year’s figures.
• Find CHAIN annual reports at