Homeslessness organisations get a boost from Poached

by Yousif Farah

It’s been a busy year for Poached in 2014, not least because we’ve been able to work with a number of homelessness organisations through our collaborative projects.

Our latest collaboration will see us join forces with the Pavement magazine. The Pavement was founded in 2005 as a registered charity in response to the increasing need of a publication focused on homelessness and directed at those affected by it.

The magazine is concise and informative. It could be described as a rough sleeper’s A to Z, providing the reader with a list of day centres, soup kitchens and places to gather advice and assistance regarding housing.  It also has features on health, legal advice and an insider’s view of life in hostels. It also covers the journalistic aspects of homelessness through comprehensive coverage of the news from the streets, often dealing with topics neglected by the mainstream press.

Even though the publication relies on volunteers, they are highly trained and experienced journalists and homeless sector professionals, also among the volunteers are some of the country’s best cartoonists (many of them Private Eye contributors). Some of our own Big Issue online journalism trainees have contributed articles to The Pavement in recent months.

The Pavement is well established in London, Scotland and the West Midlands, with over 4,000 copies distributed to over 70 hostels, day centres, homeless surgeries, soup-runs and libraries in London alone.

Its sole purpose is to support people at times of crisis, aiming to make life that bit easier for homeless people through providing them with information that can both help reduce short-term hardship, as well as enable them to guide their own future. The Pavement relies entirely on donations by public, to donate or read more visit The Pavement.

As well as working with the Pavement, we got a welcome and rather unusual offer of support from the world of music.

When blues artists Mete Ege got in touch with Poached offering to donate the proceeds of his new single Ghosts of London to support our Big Issue online journalism training programme, we were thrilled to accept this unexpected yet generous offer! The song draws from Mete’s own experience of sleeping rough in the capital: “Knowing that the money from the sales will be used to train homeless people feels right. Everyone deserves a chance to break the vicious cycle.”

Finally, in October, we helped to promote a comedy gig to raise funds for the Hackney Winter Night Shelter, which provides rough sleepers in the borough with a bed for the night, a hot meal and a warm smile.  Headlined by Stewart Lee and compered by Daniel Kitson, A Belter for the Shelter was a huge success and our writer Martin was there to review it. 

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