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Village for the homeless in Scotland
By Michelle Robertson
The café chain Social Bite is tackling homelessness in Scotland head on by building a small village near Edinburgh that is just for people without a roof over their heads. This is the next step in the continuing charitable work being done by this group. Over 25% of the staff in their six restaurants are homeless people, and they donated about 100,000 items of food to those in need during 2018. In addition, customers can prepay for meals that homeless people can then claim later. Social Bite founder Josh Littlejohn thinks that homeless people have been ignored politically for too long. “They're not a demographic of people that would vote so it's not a big vote winning issue. That is why we keep pushing the political focus on the issue; the statistics are solvable in a country like Scotland.”

The first eleven homes of the village have been built, and they are operated in conjunction with the Scottish homeless charity Cyrenians, whose President Euan Aitken said: “The mark of any society is how you look after those who are most excluded. This village says an extraordinary thing about how we all want the world to be.” The Scottish Minister of Communities added: “Something special has been created. Not just building houses, but building homes, building community – a community that will provide support and enable folks to rebuild their lives.”

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