The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)

Vil­lage for 20 peo­ple with­out homes

- BY GRAEME MURRAY

A pro­ject to pro­vide ac­com­mo­da­tion for the home­less in a pur­pose­built vil­lage has en­tered the fi­nal stages. The last two NestHouses in the So­cial Bite Vil­lage were lifted in by crane on Wed­nes­day.

It brings the to­tal to 11 at the vil­lage in Gran­ton, Ed­in­burgh, which will of­fi­cially open next month.

The vil­lage is de­scribed as an “in­no­va­tive pro­ject” backed by EDI Group and Ed­in­burgh Coun­cil. It is de­signed to break the cy­cle of home­less­ness.

A spokes­woman for So­cial Bite said: “The vil­lage will pro­vide a safe liv­ing en­vi­ron­ment and sup­port for up to 20 home­less peo­ple for

“The pro­ject is geared to break the cy­cle of home­less­ness”

around 12 months each, be­fore help­ing them move into per­ma­nent ac­com­mo­da­tion.”

The char­ity be­gan in 2012 when it opened a sand­wich shop in Ed­in­burgh and be­gan em­ploy­ing home­less peo­ple.

Since then it has at­tracted a string of celebri­ties.

Vis­i­tors in­cluded Prince Harry and Me­gan Markle, Leonardo DiCaprio and Ge­orge Clooney.

In ad­di­tion to fundrais­ing via food and drink ser­vices, the char­ity hosted Sleep in the Park in Princes Street Gar­dens to raise money for home­less peo­ple in De­cem­ber.

The sleep­out at­tracted 8,000. So­cial Bite Vil­lage aims to pro­vide an al­ter­na­tive to “sub-stan­dard” tem­po­rary ac­com­mo­da­tion. It com­bines an in­no­va­tive hous­ing model us­ing vacant coun­cil land along with a sup­ported com­mu­nity en­vi­ron­ment. A spokes­woman said: “The pro­ject is geared at break­ing the cy­cle of home­less­ness and giv­ing res­i­dents paths into em­ploy­ment.”

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