Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

current issue

February – March 2024 : The little things READ ONLINE


Opinion: the Pavement has an important message

September 10 2015
This is a voice for you, and a message to you and everyone who happens to leaf through its pages. You are not alone.

One of the worst things about living on the streets is the isolation from the rest of society. You see thousands of people every day, going about their lives and keeping it together

They mostly seem to have no regard for the poverty that surrounds them, paying no mind at all to you as they pass by.

One boost to your day on the streets could be the simple acknowledgement that you are there. A conversation with a person turns into a powerful tool by which you can attain a voice. That’s what the Pavement always meant to me.

Since its existence was first drawn to my attention in a day centre in 2011, it has been a source of information and support.

But it is so much more then a list of places to get food and a shower. It is a voice for, and a message to, the homeless community. The message reads: somebody is watching; from behind the scenes, somebody is trying to help.

This is the single most important message anyone can send to a homeless person. Or indeed, to any individual, regardless of status. How much better I found my mood when a new copy of the Pavement fell into my hands. Just a little note to say: “Here, buddy – here’s that vital piece of information you needed. Oh, and have a nice day”.

I used to add numbers to my copy. I would sit in a library and write any extra phone numbers into the free spaces at the edge of each page. Between the printed lines of addresses and phone numbers, I would add in biro my own reference numbers and contacts.

If I came into contact with some council official, or Jobcentre advisor, and needed a record of their number, or email, I would insert it into the pages of the Pavement, cutting down the need for scrap paper; establishing some order from the daily chaos of homeless life.

It helped my mental stability. That one simple act of administration not only kept my paper in check but my mind. There was one less thing to worry about because I knew where everything was.

So when you’re feeling depressed about your situation and miserable about the state of your clothes and the blisters on your feet, read a copy of the Pavement.

Use the information inside and take the help this small but powerful publication offers. This is a voice for you, and a message to you and everyone who happens to leaf through its pages. You are not alone.