Homeless village will be open for Christmas

Social bite village web

Work gets underway on homeless village in Edinburgh 

19th July 2017 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

A new village will be open in time for Christmas to house Edinburgh’s homeless as winter sets in.  

Josh Littlejohn, co-founder of Social Bite connfirmed that the houses for the new Social Bite Village are now under construction and that members of Edinburgh’s homeless community are expected to be onsite before Christmas this year.

The 1.5 acre site in Granton is currently being prepared for building works to commence after a fundraising campaign last December saw 300 of Scotland’s top business and political figures sleep rough to raise money for the project.

Social Bite’s main charity partner on the project is confirmed as Cyrenians who bring to the project nearly 50 years of experience providing support within residential therapeutic community environments and will help with the process of placing the village’s first 20 residents and working on their integration back into society.  

Josh Littlejohn said: “We’re so pleased that the village will be up and running this year and we’re edging closer and closer to creating what we believe can be an effective alternative to a broken temporary accommodation system for people struggling with homelessness. 

“Only seven months ago we experienced an incredible night with some of the country’s most successful and influential people taking part in our CEO Sleep Out to raise the money that would turn this from a nice idea into a reality and make a real impact to people who need our help. 

"The end result will be an inclusive, compassionate community.” 

The village will consist of 10 purpose-built two bedroom homes and a communal building for residents to eat together, socialise, work, learn and receive support.  

Residents will be made up of those living in unsupported temporary accommodation, shelters, hostels and B&Bs and they will have a dedicated support team from Social Bite and Cyrenians to help them transition to into permanent accommodation and employment. 

Ewan Aitken, chief executive of Cyrenians, said: "We are delighted to be working in partnership with Social Bite on their very innovative response to the challenge of homelessness. Our mission is to support people excluded from family, home, work or community on their life journey.