Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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February – March 2024 : The little things 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


Small things, big impact
Large macro thinking can be good. However, it can also be overwhelming. When I think of space, time and the universe I feel completely useless, ignorant and lacking any sort of insight. I suppose the acceptance and admittance of this is a useful piece of personal honesty and...
Little things lead to change
The little things in our lives do matter a great deal, be it a flask of hot tea, a slice of cake, or the gift of a hat or scarf. Homeless outreach teams the length and breadth of the UK will never eradicate homelessness without greater support and...
Guideline guidance
In a nutshellCurrently there is no universal charter for volunteers in the...
Take a moment
This article discusses sensitive subjects and includes themes and references that may...
Those next human steps
There are really very few themes more relevant to those of us...
Baby steps
As we come crashing towards the end of 2023, we reflect, review...


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 February 2024

Operating under what Shona Robison, the Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Finance, called the “worst case scenario for Scotland” in the aftermath of the UK Government’s Autumn Budget, the Scottish Budget was published in December.

The government set out a number of policies in the statement, included a fully funded 5% council tax freeze, £550m allocated for a supply programme of affordable housing to deliver homes for social rent, mid-market rent and low-cost home ownership, £6.3bn to be invested in social security benefits payments and for all Scottish benefits to be uprated by 6.7% in line with Consumer Price Index rate of inflation from September 2023.

However, analysis from the Fraser of Allander Institute has noted the Budget translates into a 37% reduction in resources for the Affordable Housing Supply Programme in the last two years. Sally Thomas, the chief executive of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, further criticised the allocation: “There is no plan on the table to replace the £200m lost from next year’s budget and the target of building 110,000 affordable homes by 2032 now looks like an impossible dream, both for the government and, more importantly, for the quarter of a million people waiting for them.”

Recent news reported that 781 people applied to live in a single council house in Dreghorn, North Ayrshire, which reinforces the need for the government to keep up to speed with funding for the building of affordable homes.

Housing is not the only area experiencing fiscal deficiencies, as council leaders have also warned that Scottish Budget cuts have left councils at financial risk and could lead to the closure of public services and job losses.

It was only in October 2023 that North Lanarkshire announced plans to close nearly 40 sports and leisure facilities due to constrained budgets, and although they did reverse this decision, it appears that many more councils will be placed in similar positions trying to balance their budgets.

International emergency

01 February 2024

The World Economic Forum says that globally there were estimated to be at least 150m people experiencing homelessness in 2021 – a figure that has likely risen since. Despite this, there is a lack of concern from those who have been in the political field for a while, as well as those just entering politics, in addressing homelessness as a high priority – let alone making it the most important issue that these politicians should pledge to confront head-on if elected.

If the continuation of the lack of affordable housing is not brought to the forefront among the top objectives for all upcoming political leaders worldwide, can you imagine the magnitude of unhoused individuals that will exist in the world in 20 years?

Why is homelessness not a top concern for voters globally?

Current and future politicians' top concerns suggest that they only focus on the interest of those who cast their votes for a particular legislative and seem uninterested in solving other problems.

Depending on who you ask and in what country you are referring to, crime, immigration, healthcare and education round out the most concerning topics on the list of voters. According to the Pew Research Center, Americans differ over how important it is for political candidates they support to share their traits. For most politicians in office, or running for it, in the US, homelessness is a problem that has been set aside for several years by many of those who have a greater chance of putting unhoused solutions into place than others.

I’m aiming to get the support of the incoming leaders and from those who are already in office through my Mandate Future Politicians to Prioritise Homelessness campaign.

Let's say I am a future politician in any country and I ran my campaign off the slogan that I promise to repair the entire sewerage system throughout the country because of how eroded it had become. Even though the rotting system may have serious effects on many people and continue to cause chronic health issues and other (major) problems people are most concerned about, the public most likely won't vote for that campaign or the person representing it as it doesn’t appeal to the majority of voters or capture their attention.

If I couldn't find enough people to support my cause, then I most likely would have to drop out of the race or jump on the bandwagon and support something more concerning to the voters.

According to Statista, in December 2023 a majority (53%) of British citizens believed that the economy was among the top three issues affecting the nation, while only 44% have come to believe that health was among the top three issues. One of the primary concerns of Britons in 2023 was undoubtedly the ever-present cost-of-living crisis that the UK is experiencing due to excessive inflation. All the roads mentioned above can lead to someone becoming unhoused, but somehow this situation is still not a top priority for communities around the world.

What needs to change?

Regardless of their status, politicians are public servants and are only put into office to handle the main concerns of the people's interests and not so much of what they represent.

So, unless people across the world bring to the attention of politicians that homelessness is not to be brushed under a rug that doesn't even exist, it will continue to receive the political urgency it currently experiences on the voters' agendas.

No disrespect to any other concerns or movement, but let's get our future politicians riled up about how many people are left out on the street or in a shelter, transitional housing or couch surfing.

People all around the world are known to want mainly for two things on earth: having a sustainable amount of income and to live in comfort, within their homes and in the community. That is why it's complicated for any politician to push their agenda if it doesn't strengthen the economy, but they are also known to jump on the bandwagon to support the popular causes, at any given moment.

Let's make homelessness the bandwagon that political leaders need to jump onto worldwide, and make them not only concerned about finding solutions to combating homelessness but also highly concerned about remedying its many causes, or they will not get our support in the near or distant future.

  • Eric Protein Moseley is a Social Impact Documentary Filmmaker and works closely with the homeless community in New York City

News in Brief 147: Dec 2023 – Jan 2024

01 February 2024

A Stik statue spotted in Shoreditch, London in January. The artist Stik regularly features in the Pavement and has lived experience of homelessness. © the Pavement

Better late than never

Finally, the disgraceful scenes outside University College London Hospital in November, where homeless people had their tents and belongings destroyed by bin lorries, have led to an overdue apology from the Metropolitan Police. The Met issued an apology in January to one man (several had their tents destroyed), Anthony Sinclair, for their actions, which they admit were “unlawful”. Police were at the scene in November issuing dispersal orders and even arresting the man they have now apologised to. Sinclair told the BBC that “the treatment that I and others received at the hands of police officers was inhumane.”

New year, same problems

Homelessness among young people in the UK has seen a sharp rise in the new year, according to a coalition of 120 charities. A story in the Guardian on 13 January revealed a number of charities have been shocked by increased demand for their services. The New Horizon Youth Centre in London reported a record number of people had approached it for help in the first week of the new year, while Akt, the charity for LGBTIQ+ young people experiencing homelessness, says it had more referrals in two weeks than it would usually see in a month. Under the name #PlanForThe136k – referring to the estimated number of young people who experienced homelessness in 2023 – the charities have launched a parliamentary petition in the hopes of getting answers from uncommunicative ministers.

Camden update

Further to the Better late than never story, Camden Council, which commissioned the waste contractors that destroyed the tents, and University College London Hospital (UCLH), who requested the dispersal of the people sleeping rough, were contacted by the BBC following the Metropolitan Police’s apology. Neither made comment before the Pavement went to press. The Met is now discussing compensation with Anthony Sinclair, one of the people whose belongings they destroyed, according to Open Democracy. At the time of the incident, Camden Council promised an “urgent investigation” into the matter. The progress of this investigation is unknown.

Stop the count

In a surprise move, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in January it was considering ending its official count of the deaths of homeless people. Data on homeless deaths would no longer be published under controversial proposals to provide an “improved and more efficient health and social care statistical landscape,” an ONS statement read. Quite how dropping the annual update and simply mixing homeless deaths in with overall mortality rates paints a clearer, “improved” statistical landscape is beyond the Pavement. Responding to the news, Gill Taylor of the Museum of Homelessness’ Dying Homeless Project, warned “everywhere in the public sector, change only comes as a result of an evidence base, and without it we are afraid change won’t happen,” adding the proposal was “callous”.

Vagrancy act news

Research by Generation Rent in December 2023 revealed Black people experiencing homelessness are more likely to be arrested under the archaic Vagrancy Act. Open Democracy reports the group sent Freedom of Information requests to 35 police forces in England and Wales. The responses revealed 8% of people arrested under the Vagrancy Act are Black, which represents double the proportion of Black people in the total population. It is three years since the government promised to repeal the act and then housing secretary Robert Jenrick triumphantly declared it would be “consigned to history”. Fast forward to today and only Jenrick’s forgettable stint as housing secretary has been consigned to history. The Museum of Homelessness told Open Democracy it was “dismayed but not surprised” to see that “racism is baked into how homeless people are treated in the UK.”

Operation failing

The number of veterans experiencing homelessness in England has risen by a staggering 14% in the past year, the Guardian revealed in late December. The government launched a scheme last year to reduce homelessness among veterans, but so far Operation Fortitude has failed to produce results. The scheme was launched with the ambitious pledge to leave no veteran homeless on Christmas. Christmas came and went, with 2,110 households in England with a veteran assessed as homeless in 2022–23. A government spokesperson said: “We are immensely grateful to all our veterans for their service in defence of our nation. This government is committed to ending veteran rough sleeping.”

House closure

The House of St Barnabas, a Soho charity and members’ club, shut down in January citing financial difficulties. Although known better for its fancy members’ club, takings from the club were funnelled to the club’s charitable work, which included hosting an employment academy training more than 300 people with homeless experience. Graduates of the scheme were trained in hospitality skills and many worked at the members’ club on work experience programmes. According to Time Out, the club was founded in 1862 as a charity to help homeless people.


A report published in January has projected homelessness levels in Scotland to rise by 33% in the next two years. The 2024 Scottish Homelessness Monitor, commissioned by Crisis, made the stark prediction based on current trends, which involve year-on-year increases in most demographics experiencing homelessness. The study found the use of bed and breakfast hotels as temporary accommodation across Scotland grew by 124% in the three years to March 2023, while the number of households experiencing a form of homelessness in the country had increased by 11% between 2020 and 2022. There was a hopeful call to reverse these trends, with the report stating significant change in policy by the Scottish and UK governments could produce a 56% reduction in the worst forms of homelessness by 2026.

Justice demanded

The rumbling Post Office Horizon scandal, doggedly reported on by Private Eye for years before its explosive recent stint in the headlines, has captured the imagination and ire of the public. Hundreds of sub-postmasters were wrongly accused of stealing money because of a failing IT system (Horizon).  The debacle left lives in tatters, with the Mirror reporting on the tragic case of Fiona McGowan, who died in an Edinburgh hostel after being left homeless, without a job and separated from her children because of the scandal. After losing her job, Fiona was ostracised by the local community, her mental health suffered severely, her children were removed from her care by social workers and she ultimately died by a disease of despair: acute alcohol toxicity. Her children are now working together to share their mother’s story and get justice for Fiona.

NIMBY news

A homeless shelter’s proposed extension in Edinburgh faces opposition from neighbours. By mid-January the planning application to extend the Springs Garden accommodation in Abbeyhill, Edinburgh, which would make room for an extra 17 guests, had received 23 objections. A letter, written by concerned locals and delivered to homes in the area, embarrassingly claimed the neighbourhood was “already doing its fair share” to support people experiencing homelessness. It was only November 2023 when councillors in the city unanimously declared a housing emergency. Backing the planning application, Alison Watson, Shelter Scotland’s Director, told Edinburgh Live of the need to do “everything possible to immediately alleviate the suffering of those living at the sharpest end [of the housing crisis]”.

Refugees wronged

In a desperate attempt to clear the UK’s legacy asylum backlog, the government has been granting refugee status to people without ensuring there is suitable accommodation available to them. The inevitable result has been refugees having to sleep rough in freezing conditions. Byline Times ran a report on refugees in Glasgow made victims of the failing system, which sees people lose their accommodation after gaining refugee status to make way for people stranded in the asylum system awaiting leave to remain. Evictions paused over Christmas but started up again in January. “The day I got my status, that is when my problems really started”, Mohamed, a refugee from Syria told Byline Times. “I was so happy when I got it, but now I am out on the streets.”