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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Social Bite to give homes to 600

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Cash from Sleep in the Park will be invested

Social Bite has launched an ambitious bid to take a minimum of 600 people out of homelessness by next year.

Cash raised from last December’s Sleep in the Park, the world’s largest sleepout which saw over 8,000 people take part, will be used to fund the project.

A combined total of 600 properties have been offered in Edinburgh by City of Edinburgh Council and a range of housing associations in Glasgow and the central belt.

The first homes will become available in Spring this year with roughly 33 properties per month being released each month up to September 2019.

The 600 Homes campaign follows a housing first model which gives people secure home and then puts in a place a support structure to help them sustain their tenancy and re-integrate into society.

Josh Littlejohn MBE, co-founder of Social Bite, said: “Our plan is to start placing people that are currently sleeping rough and in hostels or other temporary accommodation into this mainstream housing this spring.

“We will now seek to work alongside other funders and the Scottish Government to ensure that the ambitious scale of this housing first program can be realised and that it can help lead to a significant structural change in how homelessness is dealt with in Scotland.”

Social Bite will invest £1.5m into funding support costs over the first 12 months. The social enterprise then plans to invest a further £1.5m over the following 12 months, alongside other funders.

Funds will be distributed to a range of local homelessness service provider charities to deliver the support.

Our plan is to start placing people that are currently sleeping rough into mainstream housing - Josh Litttlejohn

First minister Nicola Sturgeon has backed the project.

She said: “It is fantastic to see the funds raised by everyone who took park in Social Bite’s Sleep in the Park supporting the 600 Homes initiative.

"The work of Social Bite has an important part to play in meeting our shared commitment to ensure vulnerable people can escape the dangers and uncertainties of homelessness, ensuring they have a warm and safe place to call home.”

Social Bite started as a sandwich shop on Rose Street in Edinburgh in August 2012 and has now grown to five shops in Scotland and one of the country’s leading corporate catering businesses.

It is also largest distributer of free fresh food to homeless in the UK, giving out over 100,000 items of food and hot drinks per year.