Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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June – July 2024 : Reflections 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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Reflecting on things
Once you have been homeless and gone through what we have gone through, no matter the time that has passed – and whether you are 'stable' and back into society (what bullshit), so many things, so many tiny little things make you reflect with a multitude of emotions.For...
Same old story?
Humza Yousaf could never have predicted the end of the Bute House Agreement would mean the end of his tenure as First Minister quite as quickly as it happened. While he has taken responsibility for his own downfall, it clearly was not the end he predicted when on...
History lesson
Homelessness is in the headlines and not for the first time. Two...
PINT talk
People in Need Today (PINT) was established 18 years ago at grassroots...
Reason to Smile
If ever there was a Guinness World Record for helping vulnerable adults...
What's in a word?
Language is a dynamic and fluid aspect of human communication and its...


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 June 2024

Grand opening

The Museum of Homelessness (MoH) opened its doors to the public for the first time on 24 May. Situated close to Manor House entrance to Finsbury Park, north London, MoH has refurbished the groundskeeper's lodge in the park and has run a series of workshops for people experiencing homelessness in the buildup to officially opening. The museum's first show at its new home is called How to Survive the Apocalypse, an immersive exhibition drawing on MoH’s front-line experience supporting the homeless community on London. The exhibition will be open on Fridays and Saturdays through to November 2024.

© Centre for Homelessness Impact
The Together Through Homelessness project, run by Dogs Trust, passed an impressive milestone in April, supporting 10,000 dogs with over 30,000 free vet treatments since the project began. The project provides free emergency and routine veterinary care to the dogs of people experiencing homelessness across the UK. Commenting on the milestone and the project’s work, James Hickman, Head of Outreach Projects at Dogs Trust, said in a press release: “For many people experiencing homelessness, their dog is more than just a faithful companion; they are family.”

Plan panned

Draconian plans to criminalise rough sleepers for being deemed "a nuisance" or having an "excessive smell" have been dropped by ministers, after Tory MPs threatened to rebel against the proposal. Former home secretary Suella Braverman brought forward the proposal, wishing to tack it onto the heavily criticised criminal justice bill. For now, the plan, much like its architect, has been binned. Announcing the scrapping of the proposal, home secretary James Cleverly also promised the government will be “scrapping the outdated Vagrancy Act and replacing it with new measures that focus on supporting people”.

Publishing news

A new publishing imprint has been established to give a platform to authors with experience of homelessness. The Arts Council has provided funding to support Unheard Voices, an imprint hosted by The Endless Bookcase, an existing publishing company based in St Albans. The imprint’s start-up grant from the Arts Council will cover production and publishing costs for up to five new authors in fiction, poetry or non-fiction.

  • See the Unheard Voices advert in the centre pages of the magazine for information on how to get your writing published

© Christopher Hoggins
Book club: a new book about homelessness was released earlier this year. Roof-less is the firsthand experience of Christopher Hoggings, who was caught up in the UK’s housing crisis and experienced homelessness, family loss and an autism diagnosis in quick succession. Hoggings writes that the book tells the story of the housing crisis “in words and pictures,” featuring as it does his artwork (he designed the cover image seen to the left).

New housing bill

The Scottish Government published new legislation in late March affecting people at risk of or experiencing homelessness. The Housing (Scotland) Bill introduces an 'ask and act' duty on social landlords and bodies, such as the police and health settings, to ask about a person's housing situation and act to prevent homelessness where possible. Included in the bill are reforms to provide for people threatened with homelessness up to six months ahead, with provisions also being made for tenants experiencing domestic abuse. Elsewhere in the bill there is a proposal for long-term rent controls for private tenancies. Loss of private tenancy is a leading cause of homelessness in the UK. Housing minister Paul McLennan told Scottish Housing News: “Early action, through the kinds of measures included in the Housing Bill, results in fewer people reaching the point of housing crisis. It also means people facing homelessness have more choice and control over where they live”.

Closing shop

Right There, an Edinburgh charity, has said it has been forced to close two of its homeless accommodation sites in the capital by the City of Edinburgh Council. Third Force News (TFN) reports the council’s refusal to pass on an uplift in housing benefit to increase the housing management payment to the charity led to the decision, which also puts the jobs of 19 support workers at risk. The facilities house up to 44 people experiencing homelessness at a time. Speaking to TFN, Janet Haugh, CEO of Right There, said: “We have done everything in our power to resolve this with the Council but sadly as a charity we simply cannot absorb a projected £2.5 million deficit over the next five years and continue running this service.”

© the Pavement
Beat the heat: summer heat can be deadly, so it’s important to stay hydrated. Most major train stations in Edinburgh, Glasgow and London will have free refill fountains like the one pictured above, taken in Islington, London. Places open to the public such as libraries and museums will also usually have free water refill fountains.

  • For more tips on staying safe this summer, see Groundswell health advice on page 21

National emergency

The Scottish government announced a national housing crisis in May. The emergency was called a week after John Swinney was named first minister, replacing Humza Yousaf. Swinney and the government faced calls to declare an emergency by a number of local authorities, including Glasgow and Edinburgh. Although the declaration has been welcomed by councils and charities, it doesn't come with additional funding, nor has any new policy been put into action. Instead, the declaration of a housing emergency represents an acknowledgement by the government of the dire situation. Quoted in the Big Issue, housing minister Paul McLennan suggested the government will invest £600m in affordable housing, while also introducing rent controls.

Council failures

In an alarming report, the Scottish Housing Regulator (SHR) has identified eight local authorities at risk of “systemic failure” in delivering homelessness services. The SHR's risk assessment of social landlords found the following councils are failing to meet demand for homelessness services: Aberdeen City, Dumfries and Galloway, Dundee City, East Lothian, East Renfrewshire, Fife, Stirling and West Lothian. Last December the SHR announced Glasgow and Edinburgh are experiencing "systemic failure" in their homelessness services. Inside Housing shared a worrying line from the SHR report: “From our [SHR's] ongoing engagement with all local authorities, we anticipate that the position for many will continue to deteriorate in the short to medium term.”

News in Brief 149: Apr – May 2024

01 April 2024


Five years after its launch, the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) is experiencing issues, jeopardising millions of people’s rights, with people experiencing homelessness particularly vulnerable to the scheme’s failings. Research by the law reform charity Justice shows millions of European Economic Area nationals are at risk of losing their jobs, homes and access to healthcare and benefits because of the problems. One of the main issues is with the EUSS ‘proof of status’ portal online. The portal is failing to recognise people who have secured the right to live and work in the UK, which has led to people missing flights, job opportunities and housing rental options.  Applications to remain are also regularly wrongly refused.

Recovery college

Sadly, the St Mungo’s London Recovery College will close its doors permanently later this year. As is so often the case with these projects and spaces, sheer numbers and statistics will never be enough to capture the life-changing impact they had. But speak to some of the people who attended the Recovery College and you begin to appreciate the profound influence it had. Although it will now be closing its doors, its legacy survives through the many wonderful people who passed through its doors and moved on to exciting new chapters in their lives. Everybody at the Pavement thanks the volunteers and staff that made the college such a success.

An exhibition was launched in March showcasing the photos used for the 2024 MyLondon and MyMumbai calendars. The exhibition, which ran until 31 March, was held at Kahaila café in Shoreditch, east London. MyLondon is the photography project run by Café Art, in which Fujifilm Quicksnap one-time-use film cameras are given to people with lived experience of homelessness. The same concept is used for the MyMumbai project. Once all the cameras have been used, the best photos are selected by an expert panel of judges and used for calendars. Proceeds of the calendars go to the photographers and to help run the projects.  Battersea Power Station, by Maurice Woolger © the Pavement

Kicked when down

Shocking footage emerged in March of a Greater Manchester police officer dragging a homeless man across the ground in a sleeping bag. The officer then proceeds to stamp on the man’s stomach as he lay on the floor. Greater Manchester Police (GMP) has issued an apology for the incident, which took place next to Manchester town hall, but has refused to comment on whether the officer involved will face disciplinary action beyond “refresher training” on how to deal with similar situations. The homeless man is a refugee from Sudan and has asked to remain anonymous. He told the BBC he had to go to hospital after the incident and reported “a fever and in the following hours I had blood in my urine.”

Museum opening

The Museum of Homelessness has announced a show to commemorate the opening of its Manor House, north London site and the 10-year anniversary of operations. How to Survive the Apocalypse is described by the museum as an “immersive experience,” that will “reframe the myths and stereotypes of homelessness and show that the answers to some of our most pressing problems can often be found with the people at the sharp end of society.” The show will run on Fridays and Saturdays from 24 May to 30 November. Alongside How to Survive the Apocalypse, the museum will be offering a wider programme of events during this timeframe. Visitors can expect a variety of talks, workshops and events through the season.

Far from home

The London borough of Greenwich is sending homeless families to live in Manchester, as councillors bemoan a deepening housing crisis in the capital. According to the Manchester Evening News, some councillors have likened the situation to a “Second World War billeting operation,” with homeless families being asked to move more than 200 miles away from the borough for housing. In February the council resolved to increase its temporary accommodation housing stock to 197 units for the upcoming year, an increase of 50 on the previous year. However, in March the council noted there were currently 240 homeless households placed in emergency accommodation hotel rooms due to the lack of available housing.

Cost of a quick fix

Councils in London, many of which are already struggling financially, spent a staggering £90m per month on temporary accommodation for homeless people – an increase of 40% on last year. The figure was taken by London Councils, a cross-party local government association representing the city’s borough councils. Its research shows one in 50 people in the city are homeless and living in temporary accommodation. London Councils warns that if spending continues to increase, more local authorities will be forced to declare effective bankruptcy.

Budget news

In case you missed it, the chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, announced the government’s spring budget in March. So what did you miss? Well, not much. If you were hoping for clarity, vision and leadership on the crisis of homelessness, don’t hold your breath. There was no answer to charities’ and organisations’ calls to safeguard homelessness services from cuts. In fact, such was the total ignoring of the topic, Homeless Link chief executive Rick Henderson told the Big Issue the chancellor had laid the ground for the issue to “spiral out of control”.

Not so temporary

Children experiencing homelessness are spending their entire childhoods in temporary accommodation, according to the Observer. Thousands of families have been housed in temporary accommodation for more than a decade, including one homeless household in London that has been there since 2000, a stay of almost a quarter of a century. Freedom of Information requests have unearthed that some households in the London boroughs of Westminster, Ealing, Brent, Camden, Enfield, Barnet, Haringey and Kensington and Chelsea have been in temporary accommodation for longer than two decades. The state of temporary accommodation in England can be so dire that there have been cases of children having to learn how to walk on a bed owing to their living space being so cramped. Children in temporary accommodation have also been found to be missing out on key developmental stages, like crawling, because of this lack of space.

Safe space

Construction has begun on the UK’s first official drug consumption room. The £2.3m facility will be built in Glasgow and is expected to open in September 2024. The pilot is supported by the Scottish Government, but not the UK Government. The space will be open to people looking to safely inject drugs such as heroin, with health professionals supervising the site. People experiencing homelessness and substance abuse problems are invited to use the site, as the Scottish Government seeks to manage the country’s drug death crisis.

First in refusal

As the housing crisis in Glasgow intensifies, the council recorded 1,355 instances of people being refused temporary accommodation last year. A Scottish Government report suggests this is in part due to the council’s commitment to move away from a reliance on B&Bs for temporary accommodation purposes. Over the same time period, Edinburgh refused 125 people temporary accommodation. According to the Glasgow Times, the number of households not offered temporary accommodation in Scotland in the three months to 30 September 2023 was the highest on record, standing at 1,515.

Miles off

Homeless families in Edinburgh are being asked to relocate hundreds of miles from the city for temporary accommodation, as the council cannot provide any local housing. According to Edinburgh Live, a family of six drove 300 miles south of the border to Coventry for temporary accommodation. Responding to the news, Matt Downie, chief executive of the homelessness charity Crisis, said: “These cases are symptomatic of a homelessness system under extraordinary pressure.”

New homes

Some long overdue positive news in Glasgow, where the council has made a compulsory purchase of three flats and transferred them to housing associations that will make them available for homeless people or families. In a statement, Glasgow City Council said it had purchased three flats in Easterhouse, Govanhill and Yorkhill, two of which have sat empty since 2020, while the third has been abandoned since 1999. Councillor Ruairi Kelly, Convener for Neighbourhood Services and Assets at Glasgow City Council, said: “We will continue to use such powers [compulsory purchases] and our partnership with local housing associations to make more homes available in Glasgow."

Funding increase

The City of Edinburgh Council reported in February that its budget for tackling homelessness had more than doubled from £28m to £64.5m. The announcement comes after the council declared a housing emergency in the city. In an effort to ensure the money is used effectively, council officers have held 14 engagement workshops with partners such as Cyrenians, Living Rent and Edinburgh Tenants Federation, designed to identify where resources are most needed. Quoted in the Edinburgh Reporter, the council's Housing, Homelessness and Fair Work Convener, Jane Meagher, said: “We’re truly at a point where urgent, united action must be taken to do right by the most vulnerable in our city”.

Cut above

An East Ayrshire charity is launching a mobile hairdressing and barber service for people struggling to make ends meet and people experiencing homelessness. The free service, run by EACHA Cut and Connect SCIO, launched on 4 March. Alongside a luxury haircut, guests are signposted to other available services, such as recovery, housing and benefits. Speaking to the Daily Record, Gayle Watson, Trustee of EACHA Cut and Connect SCIO, said: “Our charitable mission is to provide free hairdressing and barbering services to individuals in need, with a focus on promoting self-esteem, dignity and well-being within our community.”

Budget woes

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.