and a Future
Creating a Full Circle Solution to Homelessness
Social Bite started our journey in 2012 when we opened a small Sandwich shop on Rose St in Edinburgh. We started employing people from the homeless community when a local Big Issue seller called Pete asked for a job. We then introduced a Pay it Forward service where customers could buy food in advance for the homeless. Fast forward to present day and we give away over 100,000 items of food and hot drinks per year and employ over 100 people, many of whom have struggled with homelessness.
Our mission remains the same – to help solve the problem of homelessness in the communities in which we work. The ambition of our village project is to create a blueprint in tackling homelessness. Working alongside other charities, the private sector and the state, we can end the vicious cycle of homelessness for the individuals that we work with.
To end the cycle of homelessness we believe you need three things:
1. A home to live in.
2. Structured support to deal with underlying psychological and
3. A job.
As Social Bite we started at the end point by giving homeless people jobs.
Our plan now is to work backwards.
The Social Bite Village
The Social Bite Village will create an innovative, low cost, safe living environment for up to 20 people for around 12 -18 months. During this time we will ensure they receive extensive support in a community environment where residents learn new skills and get their life back on track. Residents will also receive extensive work placements and employability support.
After 12-18 months we will help transition the residents into permanent accommodation and provide pathways to mainstream employers, supporting their journey back into society where they belong. After 12-18 months another 20 resident’s will be welcomed into the village.
The residents will be people who are currently living in mostly unsupported temporary accommodation, shelters, and B&Bs. From our experience, these people have very little hope or social intervention to help them break out of the cycle of homelessness and it costs councils a significant amount of money just to maintain the status quo.
We will not be taking in anyone with a present addiction issue or with dual diagnosis (mental health and addiction issues). The purpose of the Village is to offer the right support, living environment and opportunities for someone from a situation of homelessness to become an independent member of society.
Creating a Blueprint
By doing this, the ambition is to create a full circle solution to the issue of homelessness – from housing to support to employment. In doing so we hope to alter the course of some of Scotland’s most vulnerable people for the better – swapping a destiny of poverty and exclusion for one of compassionate support and inclusion. This in turn will provide a blueprint for addressing homelessness that if successful can be replicated either by other private individuals, other charities or governments in Scotland or further afield.
We do not believe the this is a one-stop solution for all of homelessness. But for a sub-set of the homeless population who have less complex-needs, do not have a present addiction issue, and are motivated by living in a community and achieving employment and independent living, we believe we can create a scalable solution.
Our energy efficient and
eco-friendly house design.
Details on our support
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