The Big Issue is not the only magazine working to help homeless people through the Covid-19 crisis – Pavement is also working hard to get vital information to people who need it during lockdown.
The charity has produced a magazine for homeless people since 2005 but with people off the streets temporarily while they self-isolate from the virus, Pavement has switched to producing a one-off booklet instead.
Titled Health & Wellbeing In A Crisis, the 32-page paper is full of ideas to help rough sleepers and insecurely housed people stay mentally and physically strong during the pandemic, offering advice on how to access benefits and other service as well as debunking scams, urban myths and fake news.
From today a special edition of @ThePavementMag will be delivered to people experiencing #homelessness in hotels & hostels across #London, #Glasgow, #Edinburgh, #Birmingham, #Newcastle & #GreaterManchester thanks to a @crisis_uk grant. Read & download now: https://t.co/MiiVpIIh7k pic.twitter.com/fHB8nKSL7E
— Groundswell (@ItsGroundswell) May 7, 2020
The booklet also helps readers navigate the increasingly digitally-focused world, especially when internet access is out of reach or they are temporarily housed in a hotel room with just a TV and a kettle. There are plenty of suggestions on how to stave off boredom as well as practical advice for those with addictions who may be struggling with withdrawal.
With funding from the Crisis ‘In This Together’ Emergency Response Award, 15,000 copies of Health & Wellbeing In A Crisis are being distributed in London, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Newcastle and Greater Manchester.
The Big Issue vendors buy the magazines for £1.50 and sell them for £3. They are working and need your custom.
“Almost all the content has been created with people who have at some point been homeless,” says the Pavement editor Nicola Baird. “We also worked closely with Groundswell which is a brilliant organisation. At its heart is a strong belief in the meaningful involvement of people with lived experience of homelessness in the decision-making process that informs the design, development and delivery of the policies and services that affect their own lives.”
The paper has been given the thumbs up by Groundswell volunteer Stuart, who currently lives in temporary accommodation. He said: “It’s empowering and gives options because it’s about what people could be doing rather than should be doing. It’s absolutely useful – I love the whole thing and the whole idea.”
Download a copy of the booklet here.