The Social Bite Village was launched in May 2018 and provides safe accommodation for people experiencing homelessness, creating an alternative to the sub-standard and ineffective temporary accommodation solutions that currently exist. The Social Bite Village is a project that combines an innovative housing model, using vacant council-owned land, along with a supported community environment. The project is entirely geared at breaking the cycle of homelessness and giving residents pathways into employment and permanent housing.
This is a project run in partnership with an incredible charity called the Cyrenians.
Social Bite Village
The Social Bite Village is an innovative, highly supported community for up to 20 people affected by homelessness. The purpose of the Village is to offer the right support, living environment and opportunities for someone from a situation of homelessness to build an independent life.
The idea for Social Bite Village came out of conversations Social Bite had with people supported by and employed in our social enterprises, who had experience of living in temporary accommodation. They told us that B&B accommodation does not provide a suitable platform for people to escape from homelessness so we took action.
The Village is made up of 10 ‘NestHouses’ – each shared by two residents plus an additional unit for staff. There is also a large, central Community Hub, which is the focus of community life – where residents can cook, eat and socialise together. The Hub is also the base for much of our training and support activities.
There is an active weekly timetable including opportunities ranging from yoga, ‘daily mile’, and bike rides, to a cooking club and DJ sessions. We anticipate Community members will live at the Village for approximately 12-18 months. Over this time, people will contribute to the life of the community, learn a range of new skills and engage in work and voluntary placements.
After 12-18 months, we will support residents into permanent accommodation and support them to make this transition ‘stick’. As each person moves on, a new Community Member will join to be supported and mentored by their fellow community members. Community Members are people who were previously living in temporary/emergency accommodation including homeless hostels and B&Bs.
The Village is designed to be an active and highly supportive community. We have engaged partners, Cyrenians, to provide a highly skilled and experienced staff and volunteer team at the Village. Staff and volunteers are crucial in providing positive role models to residents, running a health and wellbeing programme as well as being a consistent and supportive presence on site.
In addition, Hillcrest Housing Association is a partner in the project and provides a Housing Officer who manages each resident’s occupancy. Hillcrest also provide facilities management for the Village ensuring the buildings and site are maintained to the highest standard.
Social Bite believes for a community to be truly transformational, it is fundamental that Community Members are involved in the shaping and forming of it, at every stage. The Social Bite Village is an experimental project, built upon the expertise and lived experience of those who have created similar developments. The Social Bite Village was built thanks to a massive collective effort from a range of companies and individuals, supplying everything from windows to project management expertise. The project spurred the public’s imagination and stands as a tangible symbol for hope and doing things differently.
Further Information and Enquiries...
Please call 0131 600 0084 or email email@example.com.
For residency applications, please send us a completed Social Bite Village enquiry form at https://cyrenians.scot/home-and-housing/social-bite-village.