Social Bite prepares to open first homeless village, six months after Sleep in the Park
- Craig Angus
- 10 May 2018
Event raised £4m toward the cause of eliminating homelessness in Scotland, with the village the latest positive step on the journey
On Sat 9 Dec 2017, Social Bite held their first Sleep in the Park event in Edinburgh's Princes Street Gardens, and by the end of the year had raised £4m toward the ambitious goal eliminating homelessness in Scotland.
Brave individuals from all across the country each pledged to spend a night under harsh winter skies, raising a minimum of £100 each. Temperatures plummeted to minus 7 degrees celsius, a chilling reminder of the reality faced by far too many people in Scotland – Social Bite estimate that there's over 11,000 homeless households in the country.
With Liam Gallagher, John Cleese, Deacon Blue, Amy MacDonald and Scott Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit giving up their time to entertain a crowd of over 8,000, the event was a roaring success, yet another positive result for a charity that's aimed high ever since it opened it's first sandwich shop in Edinburgh back in 2012, welcoming the likes of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, George Clooney and Leonardo DiCaprio, and now employing homeless staff at its five cafes – two each in Edinburgh and Glasgow and one in Aberdeen.
The next big step for the charity is the opening of the Social Bite village, a big part of their mission to eradicate rough sleeping. The site located in Granton, Edinburgh, will be officially opened next month, with 11 houses providing a safe living environment and support for up to 20 homeless people for an estimated time period of 12 months each.
Working together with homeless charity Cyrenians to refer people living in unsupported temporary accommodation to the village, Social Bite's plan doesn't begin and end with a roof over the head. The plan, crucially, aims to give individuals the skills required to build and maintain independence, supporting them with employment and maintaining a social life free of addiction.
In short, Social Bite want to tackle the problem of homelessness at it's core, rather than applying a band aid to provide a temporary solution. Six months on from Sleep In The Park, the village is the latest big step in a long, admirable journey. Good luck to them, and the team at The List have our sleeping bags ready for next year...