Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

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July-August 2021 : Know Your Rights 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.

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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 contact@thepavement.org.uk at the Pavement!

VOLUNTEER

If you are a journalist with some free time to research and write stories for the magazine, please contact us web@thepavement.org.uk. 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 www.twitterrific.com

IN THE LATEST ISSUE

Tricky Period pick up
Tricky Period, the group working to end period poverty by supplying sanitary products for free distribution across London, have opened a new collection point in King’s Cross station. The pick-up point is in collaboration with London North Eastern Railway (LNER), and is located at the information point of...
Hope springs
Greetings to everyone. I hope this finds you well. If you’re feeling anxious at the prospect of the world kicking back into action, believe me, you are not alone. Things are kicking back into life like city lights at dusk, one window at a time, until soon, if...
Keeping clean
When I was street homeless, I found it really difficult to access...
Patient Lee waiting
I've been here in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham for almost...
Write start
Q: How did you start off?  I literally wrote down everything and sent...
Outside looking in
At the start of the first lockdown the government told us all that it was...

ANNOUNCEMENTS

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
www.mind.org.uk 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:
homeless.org.uk/connect
covid-19
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. 

LATEST STORIES

01 July 2021

Bookworms:
Exciting news from the world of books. Author Jennifer Kavanagh’s latest work, Let Me Take You by the Hand, collects and maps stories of homeless people in London today. The book, released in early June and published by Little, Brown, features research and writing by the Pavement’s very own Mat Amp and Alastair Murray.
To find out more about the book, and where to purchase, visit here: littlebrown.co.uk/jennifer-kavanagh


Renewed hostility

So much for the Home Office being “truly sorry” for the woeful Hostile Environment policy, which was apparently disowned soon after an independent review into the Windrush scandal in 2018. More than 65 homelessness organisations signed a joint statement in May this year condemning government plans to use rough sleeping as grounds for removing someone from the UK. The government plans are part of a new immigration rule that criminalises and deports migrant rough sleepers. Liberty Investigates revealed in April that the Home Office had acknowledged the new rules may discriminate against ethnic minorities.


Off-target

Knowing Everyone In, the scheme which saw homeless people put up in hotels during lockdown in the pandemic, would eventually have to be replaced with a longer term, realistic goal to end homelessness, the government announced its intention to fund 3,348 new homes for people sleeping rough, allocating more than £150m to councils in October last year. The homes were to be built by the end of March 2021, the government said, but the deadline came and went without being met. In late May Inside Housing reported the government had confirmed it missed its target, but wouldn’t say how many homes had actually been built.  Housing reported the government had confirmed it missed its target, but wouldn’t say how many homes had actually been built.


Eviction notice

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation warned a wave of evictions would occur in England, as the government lifted the renter eviction ban on 31 May. About one million households fear losing their homes, as eviction bans are lifted and eviction notice periods drop from six to four months. Meanwhile, 400,000 renters have already received, or been told they will receive, an eviction notice. Research commissioned by the charity indicates people on lower incomes, Black and minority ethnic households had the highest levels of concern. The BBC quoted Joseph Rowntree Foundation economist Rachelle Earwaker warning she, “worried that there will be a wave of homelessness coming through."

  • For tenant advice and support visit Generation Rent at www.generationrent.org
  • Or, in Scotland, visit Living Rent here: www.livingrent.org
  • You can also contact Citizens Advice. Call 0800 144 8848 if you’re in England, or call 0800 028 1456 if you’re in Scotland 


Tourist trap

According to BBC South West, families living in temporary accommodation in Cornwall have been removed from hotels to make way for paying customers wanting to visit the southern coastline. Approximately 130 people have been moved out of these hotels already. According to Olly Monk, councillor for Newquay Trenance, business owners now “want to get back to normality”, realising that “they can make more money going back to their normal business model.” The number of households in temporary accommodation in Cornwall more than doubled in 2020, with the council planning to invest £40m into increasing their emergency, long-term and specialist accommodation stock.


SARprise

Changes to housing support came into force at the end of May, providing extra financial assistance to care leavers up to the age of 25 and anyone who has lived in a homeless hostel, regardless of age, for three months or more. The changes, which will see an increase to the Shared Accommodation Rate (SAR) and changes to the Local Housing Allowance (LHA), were originally set to be introduced in 2023, but have been brought forward. Minister for Welfare Delivery, Will Quince said, “these changes are an immediate boost for some of the most vulnerable young people in our community.”


SCOTLAND .. Levelling down

Scotland introduced a temporary legal ban on evictions during the pandemic, but as the pandemic eases, and regions move into new ‘levels’ of restrictions, tenants have been sent eviction notices. Only days after Edinburgh moved into level 2, ending the legal ban on evictions, people from 16 separate households were brought before Edinburgh Sheriff Court facing eviction for rent arrears, Edinburgh Evening News reported in early June. Among the landlords rushing to serve pandemicstricken tenants with an eviction notice were Edinburgh council. A spokesperson for The Scottish Tenant’s Organisation called the legal action “ludicrous.”

  • For accommodation see the List in the centre pages of the magazine

Yes, it's an extender

Temporary measures brought in to house people experiencing homelessness during the pandemic in Scotland have been extended by an extra three months to 30 September 2021, Scottish Legal News reports. Measures allowing local authorities to shelter people sleeping rough or experiencing homelessness in hotels and B&Bs were due to expire on 30 June. Announcing the extension, Housing Secretary Shona Robison said: “We are extending these measures while the path of the pandemic remains uncertain, and will keep the situation under review.” 

SCOTLAND - Some news in brief

01 May 2021
Scotland - news in brief Scotland - news in brief

Finding a way

A Way Home Scotland, a coalition of individuals, organisations and authorities working to end youth homelessness in Scotland, launched its second Youth Homelessness Prevention Pathway. The new pathway sets out to outline ways to prevent homelessness for all young people, it follows the success of the first pathway in 2019, aimed at care leavers faced with homelessness. Scottish Housing News reports the pathway contains 16 recommendations and three calls for action, including an emphasis on creating local strategies tailored to the population. The Scottish Government published statistics for the year 2019-2020 showing 8,319 people between the age of 16 and 25 presented as homeless to their local authority.


Be Kind

Kindness Homeless Street Team, a community group based in Glasgow, served more than 200 people at their outdoor soup kitchen on one freezing, snowy night in late February. The street kitchen is set up in George Square on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, and regularly serves a group between 130 and 150 people. Laura McSorley set the Kindness Homeless Street Team up in 2019. Speaking to Glasgow Live she said the soup kitchen was seeing “loads and loads of new faces” during the pandemic.


Unbelievable "success"

Some quite literally unbelievable news: the Scottish Government has revealed there are only 11 people sleeping rough in the whole country. According to the Daily Record, the government says the lowly number is down to the success of schemes designed to house people during the pandemic. The figures were released in response to a Freedom of Information request. Colin McInnes, chairman of Homeless Project Scotland, was having none of it. “Last Friday night, we fed 240 people at our soup kitchen in Glasgow. What we see on the streets suggests there are more than 11 rough sleepers in Glasgow, never mind Scotland.”

News in brief 132: May – Jun 2021

01 May 2021
See museumofhomelessness.org/ for more See museumofhomelessness.org/ for more

Living in the past

In the six months between the start of April and the end of September last year, police in England and Wales used the ancient, draconian Vagrancy Act to make 361 charges leading to court hearings, reports HuffPost UK. The Vagrancy Act was introduced in 1824, and as our older readers may remember, it seemed harsh then. Sections 3 and 4 of the act prohibit “begging” and “lodging in… the open air, or under a tent”. The UK government vowed a review of the law back in 2018, but that’s ancient history. No comment on the progress of the review, nor any changes (or abolishment), have been made. Crisis called the charges “inhumane”. 


Vaccine programme

Dr Anil Mehta is on a mission to vaccinate homeless people in east London against Covid-19. Homeless people were not included in the highest priority category, as the UK stepped up inoculating people at the start of the year. Mehta told the Associated Press he was moved to act, forming a small team of doctors and nurses to offer free jabs at homeless day centres and night shelters. In one week in late February, Mehta and his team provided vaccine jabs to more than 200 homeless people and social care workers. 


Address issues

HSBC is offering a bank account to people without a permanent home address with its No Fixed Address service. It operates in over 100 branches around the UK, and people can access this scheme by using the address of the charity supporting them and being accompanied by a caseworker. Under this system they will not need proof of address or photo ID. Speaking to The i, Polly Neate, Chief Executive of Shelter, said that HSBC’s scheme will mean that “more people can take a key step towards financial independence” crucial to helping rebuild people’s lives.


Well played

Former footballer Lou Macari has been hard at work since the Covid-19 pandemic turned everything on its head last year. In a segment on BBC Radio 5 Live, Macari revealed he had set up ‘glamping pods’ for homeless people in Stoke-on-Trent. Macari has run a homeless shelter in the region for the past four years, but had to make significant alterations to the shelter when the pandemic hit in March 2020. The former Manchester United star invested in ‘glamping’ pods for the 46 residents of the Macari Centre, and set up the wooden pods – designed for luxury camping – in a warehouse. Macari says residents are “showing a great deal of pride in their pod.”


NHS hero

Tom Pemberton was on the streets from the age of 17. With the help of The Prince’s Trust he was able to join the Get Into Hospital Services programme, allowing him to secure a job working for the NHS as a laundry assistant. He’s now 23, helping to mentor other young people enrolled in the programme, and recently spoke at the Movement to Work Youth Summit at the Houses of Parliament. His remarkable achievements were acknowledged as he was given the Prince's Trust Young Achiever of the Year award. Speaking to LancsLive, he said “it is amazing what you can achieve with the right support, if I can do it, anyone can.”

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